Monday, July 15, 2013

Binturong sighting!

Today was a great day in the forest. Though it started off slow, M made themselves difficult to find so we trekked all over one half of their territory only to find them on the other side of the river. I didn't really mind this so much, because the M territory is great. The forest is very open and clear, so you aren't hacking your way through, it reminds me a little bit of a Michigan forest. It also isn't too hilly, but it is very muddy in some places, mostly where elephants have come through and stirred things up leaving big footprints that fill with water the day after it rains (such as today). Anyway, eventually we stopped at the river at a place where M could cross and scanned around for them. We waited a while in case they sang or came to cross. No one was singing this morning, and neither did M, but while we waited I spotted a tiny lizard in the water (we deduced it was a baby Chinese water dragon due to its similarity to the adult one we found before). So we got a few pictures of him and got to see him scamper/swim away from us. After several minutes with no sign of M we moved on to a place downstream where they also like to cross. This time we spotted them. Again, we waited for them to come closer (the river was much too high to cross after last night's rain, even with our over-the-knee rubber sock/boot things). Again, I spotted something! I guess I was on my A-game today. This time it was a terrific find: a binturong! This is a very rare animal to see, so we were incredibly lucky. Julie had been dying to see at least one while here. We watched him from across the river as he trotted along the bank and then carefully ascended a tree and used it to cross the river. After crossing he found a comfy spot on a branch and lay down and stare at us while we snapped photos.

So that was the highlight of the day, now enjoy some photos!

 My friendly sambar deer neighbor. Just read on Wikipedia that pregnant and lactating females and adult males have the hairless, oozing patch you can see on her neck. It is some sort of gland apparently. There are always flies on it and it makes me feel bad for her.
 What much of M territory looks like
 Baby Chinese water dragon!

 He was moving too quickly to get good photos at first. I have a great video from Julie, but it is too large to upload.
peeking at us
 "Oh, hello there!"
"What are you looking at?"
Just relaxing.

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