RARE TWINS BABIES AMONG THE TAPANULI-ORANGUTANS
In our research station in Batang Toru, a very rary discovery was made: A Tapanuli orangutan female with two babies in the same age. In the wild, twins are hardly ever observed in any of the orangutan species so far. This unique discovery gives hope for the survival of this extremely rare orangutan species.
The two conservationists Andayani Oerta G. and Ulil Amri Silitonga spotted the orangutan mother with her twins on one of their patrols in the rainforest of Batang Toru-ecosystem. Both conservationists work on behalf of PanEco in the local research station of our Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme SOCP. «The two babies look very similar. However, one seemed more courageous than the other, who stayed close to their mother» Andayami remembers. She adds that the female orangutan stayed for approximately one hour in the same tree, then she left together with her offspring, clung to her fur, and continued their journey.
Dr. Ian Singleton, member of PanEco and head of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, states: «I spent years studying the behaviour of wild orangutans, but I never saw twin babies. These are wonderful news, especially when it happens among the Tapanuli orangutans!» The Tapanuli orangutan was recognized as the third orangutan species only half a year ago. With only 800 individuals left in the wild, the IUCN lists this species as «critically endangered». Because of a planned hydropower plant with dam by Chinese investors, the habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan is acutely threatened. We are fighting to prevent the construction of the dam and therefore secure the survival of this orangutan species. Dr. Ian Singleton: « These newly discovered twin babies are a sign of hope. The Tapanuli orangutans can be preserved when we do everything for their protection!».