German tourist adopts Baby Mas
KUCHING: Adopting one orangutan baby at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre here is something very personal for a German lady Daniela Schmitz.
“I got to know the orangutan by reading a book written by an English author sometime ago.
“In his book there is one character, a librarian, who is orangutan and so for me coming here is something very personal because I love that book and the orangutan character.
“Therefore, it is important for me to adopt one orangutan here,” she said.
Schmitz, 44, was met after she joined the cake cutting ceremony in conjunction with the first birthday of the orangutan Mas, who is believed to have been born on September 16, 2016.
She is among the 60 people so far who have adopted Mas.
Baby Mas is a very special male baby orangutan. Not only is it a Malaysia Day baby orangutan, but it also alleviated its mother’s sadness after the tragic death of its elder brother Digital Guro in November 2015 due to pneumonia.
It was named Mas taking the abbreviation of Malaysia. As seen from the family tree, Mas is the fourth grandchild of Seduku.
Seduku the ‘Grand old lady’ was the great testimonial of the success of orangutan rehabilitation efforts in Sarawak as she was able to live freely in the natural habitat of Semenggoh Forest and breed after years of undergoing rehabilitation.
Although no orangutan appeared during the interview yesterday morning, Schmitz was not disappointed at all.
“Even if I don’t see them, I think the most important thing is that wildlife conservation is being done here.
“Even if they (orangutan) are not here for me, it’s great to know that there is something like this here.
“I don’t need to see the orangutan although it will be great to see one, which will certainly make me happy,” she said adding that she hoped the orangutan will appear when she come back during feeding time in the afternoon.
Schmitz said she was also so happy with the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre adding that the place was so beautiful, great and wonderful.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed as there are lots of things here which look so great,” she said.
About an hour after the interview, Ritchie, the centre’s dominant male descended but it is not certain whether Schmitz was still there.
Schmitz (left) being interviewed.