Blog by MBP Volunteer, Sierra
Images courtesy of MBP Volunteer, Blake
The baby simus (greater bamboo lemurs) and I have started our lives in Madagascar very much the same way. We entered the groups around the same time in September and since then have been nearly a daily presence for the other. I guess that’s why, in many ways, I relate my experience here as a growing research assistant to the babies becoming proper lemurs.
I’m sure there was plenty for the both of us to take in when we first got here. At first, the babies clung to their moms tightly, never leaving them, and only stared wide eyed at me while I stared back. I too stuck very closely to the guides for the first few weeks, worried I might get lost.
As time continues to pass, we are both growing in our own ways. As we grow more accustom to the forest, we are all starting to explore. I’m beginning to easily recognize individuals without the help of the guides, and now I can walk around without worrying about getting lost… okay most of the time. They too are beginning to stretch their legs and hop along on separate branches than mom.
We are both attempting to master the art of moving through the forest as well. As they gracefully master their tightrope and trapeze moves like little pogo sticks with tails. I am not so graceful and more awkward. I tango and sashay along the forest floor with the bushes attempting to keep up.
The babies and I are also learning the art of “controlled falling”. Which, to put it plainly, is just grabbing any plant life around you and silently praying one of them stops you from falling, but controlled falling sounds cooler. I think we are getting pretty good at it… I at least I know I get plenty of practice at it.
We are also figuring out who the others are in our groups. I am finding close friends at KAFS to go on weekend adventures with, the babies are taking on the juveniles for wrestling matches.
And obviously we all have a growing love for jackfruit and delicious lychee!
We are all finding our places and learning the way of the forest, and as they continue to hop around wrestling the days away, I’ll continue to follow and learn. And maybe overtime we will all become proper, little lemurs.