I’m finally back home after an exciting two months of photography and filming in Indonesia. Its time to share a few highlights with you, and I’m going to start with some exciting news from Gunung Palung in Borneo, where I’ve been documenting my wife Cheryl Knott’s orangutan research for 25 years. Her project studies the entire population of wild orangutans in “GP” as we call it, but we get to know some individuals especially well, and none is more familiar to our team than a female named Walimah.
Featured Photos: Walimah – Then and Now
The first image was taken twenty years ago in 1999, when Walimah was a newborn infant. Walimah’s mother had a home range close to the research camp, and so we encountered her often and Walimah grew up seeing researchers on the ground below her as a normal part of her environment. So she has never been afraid of humans, and has been a great subject for my photography.
Some of you may be familiar, however, with the tragic turn of events in Walimah’s life in 2015. After the highlight of having her first baby in April that year, she was the apparent victim of an infanticidal attack by a rogue male orangutan (our best guess of what happened), and her first baby was lost. This story is documented in our 2016 film on NatGeo Wild Channel called “Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge” (and in a scientific paper by Cheryl and her team: Possible Male Infanticide in Wild Orangutans and a Re-evaluation of Infanticide Risk).[Read more…] about Back from Indonesia