We know you have been waiting patiently for better images of new mum Astrid and her beautiful baby daughter, Atsuko. The wait is over. Anna Marzec, our Post-Release Monitoring Coordinator in Batikap recently sent us not still images, but a short video capturing tender moments of Astrid and baby Atsuko!
Astrid is a fantastic mum and her baby girl is getting bigger every week. Vet Meryl Yemima who just returned from Batikap a couple of weeks ago also reported that Astrid was once seen making a pillow and a blanket from leaves, for her baby daughter to sleep at night.
Here’s the video. (And you can also watch it directly on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/60346682)
The other longest residents of Batikap forest are doing great too. On previous updates, we reported that after Astrid gave birth, Tarzan had been on the watch. Like a responsible dad, he guarded Astrid and Atsuko, and for the first few weeks did not allow anyone to come close, including Astrid’s longest and closest friend, Monic. He chased Monic away as she tried to visit Astrid.
Well, guess what? Monic and Tarzan made up and for the past 3 weeks have been inseparable! In the following video, Tarzan and Monic are spotted feeding not very far from each other in neighbouring trees. Tarzan is eating liana fruits, while Monic is in the mood for protein and enjoying some termites.
Here they are. (To watch on Vimeo, here is the link: http://vimeo.com/60357790)
Last but certainly not least, here are short updates on the rest of the Batikap forest’s residents.
Last month wasn’t easy but we had quite a few good days with great results in radio-tracking with up to 14 orangutans signals recorded at once, but also many unexpected visual observations. We have seen Jamiat, who used to hide from us and had initially travelled far from his original release location, on the same tree with Gundul.
We saw Sempung and Giant, but also Mama Ebol whom we had not been able to find for quite some time. Mama Ebol looked very healthy and had even gained some weight. Young Ebol found a spot in the forest with many of his favourite foods and thus stayed there for a while, feasting all by himself. Even Ika who was gone for almost the entire month was finally found and observed this week. Vet Meryl even saw Ika fishing for ants with a stick.
Sif was seen a few times with her daughter Sifa, but for some reason she disappeared each time on the next day when we hoped to follow her again. We think that this is her strategy. She is the smart one and pretends that she doesn’t mind our presence but as soon as we are gone she travels far enough so we can’t find her the next day. Other orangutans usually kiss-squeak or throw branches in order to scare us or simply hide. But Sif, Sif is playing us.
Gadis and Garu were also spotted hanging out and feeding in a tree. We are happy to report that all our orangutans are doing very well even though most of them are clearly not happy to see us as they have become more and more wild every day.
Our monitoring team is out there in the forest tracking and observing released orangutans on a daily basis. Some of the individuals can only be recorded with radio-tracking because they are so far. Every month, we have a number of orangutans targeted for visual observation. But orangutans are not aware of our plans and schedules thus they are often not found in expected location. So even individuals who have established their home range near release sites cannot always be seen and followed regularly.
As we have just welcomed newly released orangutans last week, a lot more monitoring to be done now that we have a total of 64 orangutans roaming the forest! We’ll keep you posted.
Greetings to all on behalf of the monitoring team who took many long walks in past 30 days. 🙂
Text: Anna Marzec & Meryl Yemima