(I should point out that on every trip we see many baby orangutans at close quarters but this week was quite exceptional !!!) It started at Tanjung Harapan when a mother with a 1 day old baby turned up (see photo on right). She was remarkably calm in our company and stayed within 5 meters of us for quite some time allowing us to get plenty of photos of such a young baby.
.... and from there it just got better. Not only did we meet this mother and baby again later in the week but there was news to greet us when we first arrived at Camp Leakey. Tut a female orangutan had given birth to twins a few days ago and we were privileged to meet her surving baby at just 6 days old. It is extremely rare that orangutans give birth to twins and I think this is the first time that this has been documented. For more information see wildlife direct blog here.
The chance of both twins surviving is very unlikely and unfortunately one of her babies did die but the photo on the left shows Tut with her baby at just 6 days old.
One afternoon at the feeding site at Camp Leakey the orangutan baby situation was quite stunning. We were lucky in that there were very few other people at the feeding (possibly the quietest I have ever seen Camp Leakey) which meant that the orangutans who turned up were very relaxed in our company. We try and stick to a 5 meter rule when observing orangutans but on this occasion it was completely impossible to enforce. Our group was surrounded by so many orangutans and babies and they were so curious of us that we just sat back and watched.
Other highlights of the week were seeing a Storm's Stork at quite close quarters from the boat on the river. This bird is highly endangered and it is thought that there are now under 400 breeding pairs left in the world.
It's the 3rd time I've seen a Storm's Stork in Tanjung Puting but the first time that I've managed to get a shot of one flying !
I should mention that the other highlight of this trip was Gill's 50th birthday ... Andy had managed to bring two bottles of champagne from England to celebrate the occasion and we spent the early part of the evening sipping champagne whilst cruising the river looking at hundreds and hundreds of fire flies twinkling like fairy lights.
A pleasure to spend your 50th with you Gill !
For information on future orangutan trips please head to Orangutan Photo Holiday section.