Twin Orangutan Tapanuli Spotted in North Sumatra

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A female Tapanuli orangutan with twin babies spotted in Batang Toru forest of Tapanuli, North Sumatra on May 20, 2018. Photo: SOCP

Medan (Greeners) – A female Tapanuli orangutan was spotted with two babies in Batang Toru forest of Tapanuli, North Sumatra. The two babies share the same look and size.

They were spotted by two staffs of Sumatran Orangutan Conservation (SOCP), Andayani Oerta G and Ulil Amri Silitonga, one kilometer northwest of Batang Toru forest monitoring post on May 20, 2018.

“I just started to run this camp a few months ago and went on a routine search mission. Suddenly, we saw a mom Tapanuli orangutan with two babies at the same time which felt incredible. The twins look exactly like each other and almost in same size, however, one looked braver meanwhile the other looked very shy and always cling to its mother,” said Oerta.

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Female orangutan and the twin were first seen on top of the trees by Oerta and Silitonga at 2.30 pm but they moved at 3.40 pm with the babies were carried at each side of the mother.

Oerta said that when they were eating fruits of Dacrydium beccarii, or locally known as sampinur tali, one of orangutan’s favorite fruit in Batang Toru forest. After a few minutes, they moved to other trees, including Madhuca laurifolia or locally known as mayang merah. The mother sat down while carrying the twin and let out kiss-squeak.

Hotmauli Sianturi, North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation agency, said that they will need further assessment on the orangutan. Considering the small population of Tapanuli orangutan then conservation efforts are required from all stakeholders.

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Furthermore, Indra Eksploitasia, Director of Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said that the sighting got attention because orangutans normally gave birth to only one individual. Preliminary conclusion was the babies carried by the mother are twin.

“Orangutan can only give birth to one offspring so it can be determined as twin while the mother carried two baby orangutans with the same size. The twin orangutan photo taken by SOCP is being assessed and researched,” said Exploitasia to Greeners on Friday (13/7).

Furthermore, she said there are 800 orangutans with less of active female, with only eight to nine years time to reproduce, and small distribution in Batang Toru forest of South Tapanuli, North Sumatra.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih