One of the sweetest duos at the Bukit Tigapuluh release site have been progressing well since our last update. Sam and Cupcake have now been free in the protected forests for over one year after their second release, and the cute twosome have been busy foraging for foods and enjoying the fruiting season in BTP.
Even though Sam has been foraging and eating well during the dry season, carers decided it was best to increase her protein supplement feeds to 3kg to ensure she was eating enough to support her and Cupcake. These feeds only took up a small percentage of her daily foraging time, and will be re-assessed in a few months. She has been seen to be eating bark, leaves, and liana fruits and staff are happy to see she has shown a great effort to forage independently during the dry season.
It seems Sam has shared her skills well, as Cupcake is a confident forager and is often climbing ahead of Sam when they reach a fruiting tree. He is also showing strong tool use skills – mainly due to the fact he LOVES capturing ants and poking around in bee hives trying to retrieve delicious honey!
Sam recently allowed Cupcake to play with youngster Vanilla, whilst she and Vanilla’s mum Violet foraged at a nearby tree. Sam didn’t take her eyes off Cupcake, and was sure to never be too far from him during this time. Cupcake had a great time playing, and carers say he has strong socialisation skills.
Sam has had a few minor medical issues recently, with carers providing treatment for low calcium, constipation and bloating. In all instances, treatments worked well and she recovered quickly.
Staff express how thrilled they are with Sam’s instinctual mothering abilities, and say despite having spent her early life as an ex-pet and living in a zoo environment, she is proving to be one of the most devoted mothers in the jungle. Cupcake is her motivation to survive, and she protects and provides for him well. Cupcake is learning many skills from his fantastic mum, and carers feel he will grow to become a strong forest presence in the future.