Amount Raised to date:


Tila was confiscated as a youngster in September 2003 from a village near Sampan Getek in North Sumatra. She appeared to be healthy, but blood tests revealed that she was infected with, and a carrier for, the human Hepatitis B virus. This means that she can never be released back into the wild, as she presents a potential hazard to other orangutans and primates living in the forest.

Tila is now around 11 years old and sadly has spent all of her time in quarantine alone. Tila has been forced to spend the years on her own to avoid infecting other healthy orangutans.


July 2015

During the last 6 months at Quarantine, Tila has been adapting to being rotated every 2 weeks in between two facilities. As her nutrition plan has started, staff have kept a close eye on her weight and adapted to her body changes. This will improve Tila's welfare, where she can loose some weight and commence a healthier lifestyle. Her favourite food is mango, but now she will get a more balanced diet with carrots, spinach, pineapples, paw paw, broccoli, sweet potato, corn, choco's and many leafy greens. 
The last 6 months, Tila has been encouraged to use the new puzzle boxes and give them a go with sticks and different tools. Tila is very frustrated, as she needs to 'work' for her food now, instead of waiting for it to be handed to her. Her favourite foods like honey and jam are put inside pumpkins and bamboo, where she needs to work through the mesh to access this with a stick. At times, Tila will get frustrated and throw items at the keeper, but will always come back to finishing her puzzle off by the end of the day. It is great stimulation for her.

Tila has been working with the staff on animal training basics. The idea is to get her attention and focus on the staff, and not be so distracted with her stereo type behaviour. Staff have also been assisting to motivate and move Tila about whilst keeping her calm. A great program which many Australian zookeepers have helped train the staff on how to implement positive reinforcement.

Click on the images to below to see Tila! 


November 2014

Tila has had an interesting 6 months at Quarantine, with her home being thrown upside down! As SOCP has recently refurbished, repaired and renovated the Permanent caging facility, Tila has had to adapt to new faces working on her home and her neighbours home. Unlike her friends Leuser and Dek Nong, Tila did not have to move residency until one of the cages was fixed. Then it was a simple swap. 

At first Tila really did not like being in her new cage, because it had new furniture items, enrichment and new smells with a different view. However, in recent moths she has grown to the new change of environment and now likes to nest up high in the cage.

Unfortunately Tila has many stereo type behaviours which include pacing. These developed before she entered Quarantine at an early age, where she has continued to carry them through her entire life. We have started to break down her pacing behaviour and commenced interactive enrichment to try and stimulate her a lot more in captivity. We had a wonderful IPad donated by Orangutan Outreach, where we have uploaded videos and interactive drawing programs to try and get her attention. 

Tila especially loves the movies, where we show footage of other orang-utans and wildlife in captive situations.

Tila also will pay attention to her carer when it comes to animal training sessions. She is being taught how to move around using positive reinforcement, and open her mouth and present her hands for medical check ups. However, she has a long way to go as her attention span is limited.

SOCP tried to present her with a puzzle box on the exterior of her home, at first this new interesting object was stimulating, but then she broke it off the cage and threw it back to the keeper! I guess she didn't like it that much. A very funny moment and a time when the keeper had to then go back and workout a more exciting puzzle for her.


Update May 2014: Latest photos of Tila

Latest Video of Tila – December 2013

Latest photos of Tila – December 2013

Update from Tila's Keepers - July 2013

Tila has grown into a beautiful female orangutan. In the past few months she has developed wild behaviours and does not like it when the keeper spends to much time around her cage.

Her favourite food is watermelon! She will leave the rest of her fruit and vegetables and always indulge on her fresh watermelon before any other food.

As Tila has become a little more ‘wilder’ and has developed into a mature female orangutan, her patience to move and separate for the keepers has diminished. The keepers are finding it hard to lock Tila into her off-limit cage so they can service her cage with new enrichment and furniture. She will not cooperate and will often play many games with the keepers. She pretends to go half way onto the lock up and then runs out.

A new training plan to encourage her into the lock up has been introduced. All food is fed in the lock up and we want to build her confidence that we will not just lock her in. That the space is not a game and not a bad spot. Once she moves comfortably in it we will then lock her in and refurnish her cage with exciting toys and hammocks. She will then learn that every time she moves into the lock up, she will be rewarded with a new food item or enrichment device in her main home.

Tila is also a little overweight. Staff have her on a diet, but we think with more activity in her home and training her for lock up, she will loose weight in an exercise regime.

Keeper Activities:
As a part of an April campaign to raise much needed funds for Quarantine and improve husbandry conditions we set about developing an internal staff competition.

The goal was to upgrade the current Quarantine Centre and implement a team program.

  1. Improve the orangutan welfare and husbandry
  2. Improve the Quarantine practices
  3. Clean up and organise the centre so staff can work more efficiently
  4. Increase staff motivation – Reward those that are doing a good job
  5. Implement staff quarantine protocols for each area they work in
  6. Staff to implement a management system in the areas they are delegated to work
  7. Increase the communications with the Quarantine Centre – between technicians, veterinarians and managers

The competition was judged by Ian Singleton and Jessica McKelson. A number of good improvements were made to the Permanent Cage facilities where Tila resides.

  • A new enrichment device to help teach her to problem solve for food. This treat log encourages her to use tools to access the food.
  • Additional, the entire Permanent cage facility had new paint, new tools and some new overall maintenance to tidy the space up!