Frankie was born in August 2012 and is the youngest son of Friska. Despite the fact that he has an elderly mother and is a bit smaller than the other kids his age, Frankie is developing fine.
Frankie is a very bold and fierce boy. From very early on, he loved to play with his older brother Fredy. Being a good older brother, Fredy taught Frankie the fine art of boys-rough and tumble play! Now that Fredy is not around anymore, their niece Eden has become Frankie’s favorite playmate. When playing with Eden who is 2.5 years younger than him, Frankie is always very cautious and gentle with her. Frankie seems to know that Eden’s mom Ellie (who is his older sister!) always has a watchful eye on her daughter.
Even though Frankie is small for his age he seems more independent than the other kids. He seems to have responsibilities that go beyond his age: he for example often helps his mother Friska building their night nest. Maybe Frankie senses that his mother is quite old and needs him to grow up fast. The other females at Suaq avoid Friska, who is a bit anti-social at times. However, after Fredy left the Suaq area, Frankie needed more play partners. When he was around 3 years old, Frankie started to approach other mothers with their kids on his own. In spite of whatever relationship Friska and these mothers had, the females would always tolerate Frankie. Maybe they realized that Frankie was actually a very pleasant little boy who just needed some company.
Soon, the other mother orangutans seemed to have agreed on a new system. Friska would drop Frankie off with the other moms and allowing him plenty of opportunities to play with his peers and Friska would attend to her own business. When Ellie was there, Ellie would always make sure that her little brother was okay. Once we saw Ellie carry Eden out of a sticky situation with an obtrusive, unknown flanged male while also grabbing Frankie by his foot and dragging him along with them. They are from a tough family and Ellie is very strong, so this was a practical solution for them!
Sometimes it seems Frankie forgets that he needs to eat while he plays with the other kids and we wonder if this is part of the reason why he is so small. Frankie also keeps forgetting to keep an ear out for his mother and often seems to miss Friska’s travel initiation scratches or her infant collection calls. Because of this, Friska is now getting stricter with Frankie, and often leaves him behind when he is too distracted to follow her. Once Friska is at a certain distance however, Frankie always rushes after her, often crying. Friska will slow down or wait for him but will only go collect him if absolutely necessary.
Friska’s methods may be considered tough but Frankie is being raised by a very experienced mother who knows what he needs and what he can handle. We are curious to see if Frankie will be Friska’s last child or if he will get a younger brother or sister soon.