Introducing Baby Atsuko!

On the last blog post, we shared the wonderful news of the arrival of Astrid’s new baby girl, Atsuko, and reported how Astrid was showing all the signs of being a great mother.  Meanwhile Tarzan was observed near to Astrid over several days,traveling backwards and forwards to check on his new offspring.  Unfortunately, at that time we didn’t have any photos of the new mother and her beautiful baby girl to share as had to wait for some of the field team to return from the forest.

Introducing: Baby Atsuko!

Introducing: Baby Atsuko! Photo by Fiet

This morning, we received photos taken by our vet Fiet, and our technician Purnomo. They also shared the whole story of when and how they managed to take photos of this gorgeous baby girl and her happy new mother.

According Fiet and Purnomo, on December 19, they started radio-tracking as usual to locate signals and subsequently follow and record observational data on our reintroduced orangutans. Close to transect Anton, they picked up frequency signals forAstrid, Tarzan, Monic and Menteng. Considering the fact that our monitoring team already strongly suspected Astrid was pregnant, Fiet and Purnomo followed Astrid’s signal towards the south-west.

Astrid with her new baby

Astrid with her new baby. Can you see Atsuko’s hand? Photo by Fiet

It took about one hour to find Astrid’s location, as Purnomo and Fiet had to walk off the transect through the thick understory of shrubs and rattan.  Between transect 6 and transect Lone, the radio-tracking signal for Astrid was very strong, but Fiet and Purnomo still couldn’t pinpoint Astrid’s exact location.  Luckily, Fiet and Purnomo heard Tarzan longcall at 9:22 am andsubsequent movements in a nearby tree. Underneath that tree, lay many fruit remains and when they looked up, voila… They saw Astrid eating Bondat fruits above. Fiet began to take photos of Astrid, while Purnomo commenced recorded data on Astrid’s activities that day (feeding, resting, etc.).

At first, neither Fiet nor Purnomo has caught a glimpse of anything other than Astrid.  However when they checked the photos, they saw a small head with beautiful dark eyes looking into the camera. Suddenly, they observed Astrid thoroughly, and they were sure that, indeed, Astrid was accompanied by a gorgeous baby orangutan. According to Fiet, even though she judged Astrid to have only given birth a few days before, Astrid was in great condition.

Astrid in great condition with her new baby

Astrid in great condition with her new baby. Photo by Purnomo

The team believe that baby orangutan is Tarzan’s daughter based and Tarzan and Astrid’s courting history back when they were first released into Bukit Batikap conservation forest.

We have named the baby Atsuko, and there is no doubt, that Astrid really is adoring of her new baby!  Tarzan is also proving himself as a good and responsible father by patrolling around Astrid (15-20 meters) watching over and guarding Astrid and Atsuko.  Tarzan made long call eight times that day, a good warning to other orangutans not to enter his territory.

Welcome to the Batikap Forest, baby Atsuko. We hope you will be very happy living in a beautiful natural rainforest with a wonderful mother and a great father…

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4 thoughts on “Introducing Baby Atsuko!

  1. It is so wonderful to finally meet you, baby Atsuko!!!

    May you, your loving mother Astrid, and your proud father Tarzan all live Long, Happy, Safe, and Healthy lives in your new forest home!!!!!

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