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Siswi: Queen of the Jungle

Siswi is the dominant female orangutan in Camp Leakey area where Dr. Galdikas has a hut and often works. She has released several orangutans here. Dr. Galdikas told me that Siswi’s mother was her “best friend”. Siswi was born wild and…
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Highs and Lows

Today I am flying my drone from the boat to photograph the river with its close approximation to palm oil trees. We will then either hike or take a motor bike almost 10 kilometers (over 6 miles) to a huge area where primary forest burned down.…

The day Theo was charged by a black rhinoceros....and he is still among us!

I try to keep it short this time… It happened in 1999 in Namibia’s Damaraland. The story could have turned out differently – so different that I would not have been here anymore to tell it. One has to trust a Trust. I do have a problem…
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Klok Klok Klok...

The next day I flew to Jakarta, Java and changed planes for Pangkalan Bun, the capital of Central Kalimantan, Borneo. The fires have ravaged Central Kalimantan. They recently stopped burning (for the time being) after tremendous efforts from…
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Someone got a bath, but it wasn't me :-(

I woke up on my last morning in Bukit Lawang early - ready to depart on a small mission unrelated to the story that I am working on. I am going to meet a team of scientists and park officials in the Sikundur field office to release a slow loris…
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Jami goes APE for a beard!!!!

Doing field work sometimes means doing forest work. To enter the forest, we had to cross the river by zodiac boat. My tracker was carrying my camera gear with him which is a luxury that I am unaccustomed to. When I am traveling with Theo, he…
House boat on Camp Leakey River
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Sumatra Morning Coffee

One of the best times of the day - morning coffee. Let me describe where I am having my coffee. My bungalow is built into a hillside on the edge of one of the last remaining rainforests on Sumatra - Gunung Leuser National Park. I am sitting…
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It's Not Easy Being Green....

Today we drove over 3 hours from Medan to Sei Betung which is a part of the Gunung Leuser National Park. I am traveling with the SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project) team to visit their restoration site. On the way to the restoration…
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Jami: Another Day with the 52

I spent another day in the quarantine center again with the “52” orphaned and rescued orangutans. Some of the animals that live there have such sad back-stories and will have to remain there for the rest of their lives. But most will be…