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But MUM I Don't Need A Bath! Adorable Orphan Ape Mr. Brenie 2 Does All He Can To Avoid Getting His Fur Wet

I'm the king of the swimmers: Two-year-old Mr Bernie - one of 330 orphaned apes at the Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine in Borneo - will do just about anything to avoid taking a plunge

I'm the king of the swimmers: Two-year-old Mr Bernie - one of 330 orphaned apes at the Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine in Borneo - will do just about anything to avoid taking a plunge

As generations of parents will gladly testify, bath time often turns into a battleground when toddlers are involved.

And as these adorable pictures show, it’s not just human babies who get all steamed up when it’s time to take a dip.

Two-year-old Mr Bernie — one of 330 orphaned apes at the Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine in Borneo — will do just about anything to avoid taking a plunge. With four strong hands able to firmly grasp the sides of the bath, getting him into the warm, soapy water can be a soggy struggle.

 
Orangutan caretaker with infant at bath time, Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia
Orangutan caretaker with infant at bath time, Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia

Not happy: In the wild, orangutans usually shy away from water, preferring to keep themselves clean through picking out bugs and dirt with their long fingers. But at the orphanage there are no ape mums to help out

In the wild, orangutans usually shy away from water, preferring to keep themselves and their babies clean through picking out bugs and dirt with their long fingers. But at the orphanage there are no ape mums to help out.

Some toddler apes — such as Charlie, pictured here in a green towel — are fans. Mister Bernie, however, is not. He was brought to the orphanage in July 2010. 

A spokesman from the centre said: ‘He was a scrawny, scared little thing with hair matted from sticky sap. After a long bath, some motherly attention, and countless bananas, Mr Bernie started thriving  in his new home. He is now strong, healthy and handsome.’

The centre was set up in 1998 to help orphaned and rescued orangutans learn the skills they need to live independently in the wild.  

Located in the village of Pasir Panjang near Tanjung Puting National Park, a team of surrogate human mums live with the youngsters day and night.

Each day, the orphans are taken into the 200 acre forest surrounding the centre where they forage, play and hunt, carefully watched by their carers.

Care: The centre was set up in 1998 to help orphaned and rescued orangutans learn the skills they need to live independently in the wild

Care: The centre was set up in 1998 to help orphaned and rescued orangutans learn the skills they need to live independently in the wild

Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) caretaker bathing infant, Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Orangutan Care Center, Borneo, Indonesia

Under wraps: Some toddler apes - such as Charlie, pictured (right) - are fans. Mr Bernie (left), however, is not

Often, the human mothers sleep with the young apes overnight in wooden shelters in the forest. The bond between carer and orphan is powerful. 

Soon after arriving at the centre, traumatised babies can cling to their new mothers all day, only gradually learning independence over weeks and months.

'He was a scrawny, scared little thing with hair matted from sticky sap. After a long bath, some motherly attention, and countless bananas, Mr Bernie started thriving  in his new home. He is now strong, healthy and handsome'

Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine spokesman

The caregivers stay by their wards’ sides until they are able to live completely on their own. The moment when the youngsters finally leave home can be devastating for their human “parents”. 

All the orphans have distinct  personalities. Luna, pictured with a milk bottle, is quiet and nervous. She was rescued from a worker at a palm oil plantation who was keeping her as a pet.

When she arrived at the centre a year ago, aged 12 months, she was half the size of a healthy orangutan of her age.

Mr Bernie has altogether more confidence. Famed for his insatiable appetite and his ability to sneak food, he will — if unsupervised — steal baby bottles full of milk from other apes.




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Comment by evolution on September 29, 2012 at 4:30pm

In all seriousness this little orangutan looks like Dick Cheney.

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