In fact, a large part of Redd’s play with the adults consists of play biting, pulling hair and wrestling. For Batang, a break from this roughhousing is welcome on most days! Luckily, 42-year-old Bonnie and 32-year-old Iris are wonderful “aunties” and are more than willing to play with Redd and dote on him.
Redd seems to get his dramatic side from his father, 22-year-old Kyle, who will often “display” and produce long calls to show off and let everyone know his whereabouts. Whenever Batang and Redd are sharing an enclosure with Kyle, Batang will keep a tight grasp on one of Redd’s arms or legs when Kyle is around so she can quickly move him out of the way if a display is imminent. Before Kyle came to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, he grew up around several infant and juvenile orangutans. I’m optimistic that he and Redd will eventually become best buddies. However, that all depends on how comfortable Batang is! It may be some time before she is ready for that to happen.
Interestingly, Batang is increasingly more comfortable letting Redd interact with Kiko, who is remarkably tolerant. Sometimes, Redd tries to push his luck by trying to get close enough to swipe at or grab Kiko’s puzzle feeders. Kiko just swats Redd away with the back of his hand.