Lois is the second child of Lisa and was born in August 2010. From a very young age, he was curious and showed the highest rates of explorative behaviors of all the Suaq infants. Lois is very interested in what individuals around him do and he spends a lot of time observing them closely.
Lois was born 2 years before the big baby boom at Suaq in 2012. Consequently, he was the oldest of a cohort of infants. Lois always loved to play, especially with his aunt Cinnamon who is 2 years younger than him. Cinnamon was also very fond of Lois and their play behavior always seemed very sweet and trusting. Cinnamon’s mother Cissy was totally fine with Lois playing with her daughter, however, the other mothers were more reserved. To the big disappointment of Lois, they often pull their infants in close when they see Lois approaching fast and enthusiastically from afar.
During his early years, Lois liked to play with his older sister Lilly, but unfortunately for Lois, Lilly was becoming interested in the more “grown up” boys and ignored her little brother more and more. However, instead of giving up on finding play partners, Lois started to play with fully grown males, which he still does now! Because the males mostly ignore Lois, he has to put a lot of effort into getting them to play with him. Lois sometimes even follows the males into their nests or keeps on pulling their legs and arms when they don’t accept his play invitations right away. Lisa lets him do this, but always stays close by keeping an eye on her cheeky son. The males never seem to dare to chase Lois away, probably because Lisa is always close by. When Lois harasses the males too much, the males usually give in and play with him for a bit.
Lois has always shown a fascination for sun and rain hats! He started practicing making his own when he was three years old by putting various kinds of leaves on his head. Lois perfected the skill over several years and now skillfully assembles elaborate hats when it the sun is too strong or when it starts raining. His hats seem to do pretty well in the rain and Lois can continue moving around and the hats will stay on his head. Only when the rain gets too heavy will Lois seek shelter under Lisa’s roof and huddle close to her.
The biggest change so far in the Life of Lois happened in November 2019, when his younger brother Leon was born. Becoming an older sibling is an important milestone in a young orangutan’s life because it marks the completion of weaning and the end of infancy. Lisa now has much less time and energy to devote to Lois which means that he has to be more independent. Being a tolerant and caring mother, Lisa still allows Lois to stay with her: she lets him travel and feed with her and also allows him to sleep in her nest when he wants to. From the start, Lisa seemed very busy with Leon. Instead of interacting with Leon, we saw Lois keeping his distance. This was surprising for us to see because Lois is usually such a social guy. Maybe Lois keeping his distance was related to the fact that Leon was not developing as expected and seemed to need Lisa’s full attention and support.
Sadly, Leon passed away between mid-June and early August 2019 for reasons unknown. Lois is still with Lisa, but currently, both seem quite worn out and low on energy. Lois travels with his mom and stays with her but keeps his distance and hardly ever tries to interact. We hope that Lois will soon get over this difficult period and the Suaq Team will keep a close eye on him and his mom over the next several months.