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June 21, 2017
Cindy and Riwut, a mother-infant pair, have been living in Central Kalimantan’s Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest for almost four years now. I recently accompanied a monitoring team into the forest, where we were lucky to find Cindy and Riwut looking healthy as they went about their daily activities high up in the trees.
At first, I spotted Riwut playing alone in a fallen tree, whilst mum Cindy observed from above. Once Riwut became aware of our presence, she scampered to Cindy, seeking refuge.
Riwut plays alone
Cindy and Riwut
The two quickly moved away through the forest canopy,eventually stopping at a tree to consume its bark. Both mother and offspring stayed awhile to enjoy their bark snack, and then continued on their exploration of the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
After several hours of observation, Cindy and Riwut again became aware of our presence; Mother Cindy kiss-squeaked to voice her displeasure at being disturbed.
Cindy and Riwut become aware they are being observed
Uncomfortable with being watched from below, both quickly moved away again to evade their observers. The pair was quick, and we lost them in no time. As the sun was about to set, we decided to call it a day and head back to camp.
During my observations of the pair, I noticed that Riwut has learned a lot from Cindy: she is not breastfeeding as much as before, and is beginning to display good foraging skills.
It was completely satisfying to see the progress of this mother-infant pair in the wild. Cindy is a wonderful mother who continues to patiently and calmly teach her daughter the ways of life in the forest. I hope one day Riwut will become an amazing mother just like Cindy!
Text and photos by: Arga Sawung Kusuma, BOSF Nyaru Menteng Veterinarian
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