Majestic, Blooming, CautiousMy Birthday
October 10, 1990My Story
Linus arrived at the Center for Great Apes in 2006 along with the orangutan, Kiki, and chimpanzee, Mickey. All three apes were sold to a private owner when they were infants, but had grown too large to handle so were kept in separate cages in a garage for most of their lives. When Linus had suddenly started to tear apart his tiny cage in order to escape, his owner asked the sanctuary to take all three great apes immediately.
Due to years of lack of exposure to sunlight in his garage cage, and limited space for movement and exercise, Linus could barely walk, trembling constantly and becoming winded from the slightest exertion. His hair was matted with pounds of feces, and it took caregivers many months of effort to groom him through the mesh and cut out the mats. Yet Linus was patient and gentle.
When Linus stepped outside into the sunshine for the first time at the sanctuary, he turned his huge face up to the sky and stared. As he gained more space outdoors, he learned to lumber around his enclosure, make his way into the chute system, and eventually climb to the top os his dome.
Linus is huge. His head and flanges (cheekpads) are nearly twice the size of our other adult male orangutans, Pongo, Christopher, Bam Bam, Louie, Radcliffe and Chuckie. Linus's hair, now clean and shiny, frames his cheekpads and serene face.
He is fascinated by textures, particularly fabrics, and he also hoards paper products such as cardboard boxes, paper bags, and wrapping paper. Every time he moves indoors or outside, he carefully gathers up all his blankets, boxes, and bags and carries them with him wherever he goes.
Even though Linus and Kiki had both been kept in the same garage, they were never together nor had interacted with each other. Soon after they completed their quarantine period at the Center, their introductions began. After many months of carefully monitored sessions of play and interaction, the very gentle Linus and the extroverted and friendly Kiki were successfully introduced. Since the apes at the Center can move around the sanctuary through the aerial chute system, Linus often spends time with the female, Geri, while Kiki plays with the youngster, Jam.
Linus is very shy, but as he gains more confidence each day, he always makes the effort to come over to see the staff and volunteers when they stop by his habitat.