Meeting Molly

Hi I’m Molly! Not the new animal Molly at Wingham, but Molly the Junior Journalist! But of course there is a new animal at Wingham and I was lucky enough to be invited to Wingham to meet the new animal before they told everybody what it was!

I went on a sunny Saturday with my brother, Dad and my Mum. We were taken behind the scenes of the new Rainforest SOS section.  We went past the new enclosure which was a giant room and inside there were loads of big ropes to swing on and a little waterfall section.  We walked past this and up a long walkway and went into the HOTTEST room I’ve ever been in!  In the corner and up really really high was a big shy figure with a blue blanket over its body and head . The figure was Molly, an 8 year old Orang-utan.  She has just moved to Wingham from Twycross Zoo. 

There are two types of Orang-utan, Sumatran ones and Bornean ones, Molly is a Bornean Orang-utan which means her home in the wild would be the Rainforest in Borneo – no wonder it was so hot in her enclosure!

In the wild, baby Orang-utan’s stay with their mums until they are around 8 years old.  Molly was born at Twycross Zoo and has lived with her family there for the last 8 years. Molly’s mum has just had a new baby and needed the time to spend with her baby and Molly needed a new home, so that’s how she came to live at Wingham.  We were told that Molly only arrived at Wingham on Thursday so was still getting used to her new home.  I think she likes it.  She was being cheeky by pulling the blanket down over her face and pulling it back up when she could see we were looking!  Molly’s keeper from Twycross Zoo came down with Molly to help to get her settled for the first week and I really think its working!

Bornean Orangutan at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

Molly is going to be lucky enough to have an indoor area which is going to be warm and snuggly and an outdoor area where she can play.  In her indoor area she has ropes to swing, play and climb on!  There is going to be a tunnel which will go from one enclosure to the other and people visiting Wingham will be able to walk under the tunnel and see her up close.  I think Molly has a really nice enclosure with lots of space and I thought the outside looks really natural.

10 Fun Facts About Orangutans

When I got home I decided to Google Orang-utan facts to find out more.

1.  The life span of a Bornean orang-utans is 35 – 45 years in the wild but ones that live in captivity can live for 60 years.

2.  They eat mostly vegetables and like to have fruit as a treat such as tomatoes.

 3.  Orang-utans have 32 teeth.

4.  Orang-utans have really long arms, about 2.2 metres.  They are one and a half times longer than their legs and can reach their ankles when they are standing.

5.  Orang-utans like to be comfortable and build nests to sleep in and they build a new one every night.

6.  Their favourite fruit is a huge spiky fruit called durian – which is best known for being stinky!  People say it smells like sewage, rotting flesh and smelly socks.

7.  All species of Orang-utans are critically endangered because humans keep cutting down the forests that they live in.

8.  About a third of Orang-utans do not have a nail on their big toe!

9.  The word Orang-utan comes from the Malay language.  ‘Orang’ means human and ‘utan’ comes from the word ‘hutan’ which means forest so Orang-utan together means human of the forest.

10.  Female Orang-utans only give birth once every eight years which is the longest time in-between births of any animal.

We spent a little bit of time with Molly and I asked lots of questions.  We then left Molly to settle into her new enclosure.  I am so excited to keep up to date with how Molly is settling into her new home at Wingham.

I loved my visit, it was so much fun and I felt very special to be able to see an animal as beautiful as Molly as close up as I did, even if she did keep covering her face with a blanket!

Molly xx

About Molly - Junior Reporter

Molly is one of our junior reporters, selected for 2019 to 2020 and was 7 at the time she was selected.