Then, as if by magic, Padubu halts the group. He points high up to a tree in the distance. Two red laser like dots glare back at us from the trees. It’s a loris! Padubu shines a white light on the loris so we can all have a look. It is unfazed by the white light and stares at us in wonder. The loris then moves through the trees and within seconds is gone. The speed of the tiny primates is fascinating. Padubu explains to me how difficult it is to identify the loris’ sex from sight alone, so studying the population is made even more difficult. He and Gahan put a plastic tag on the tree with the loris, marked with the time and date it was seen, and mark the GPS location of the tree. They do the same after our next loris sighting.
“We can estimate if a loris is the same individual or not, depending on where they are and at what time. So far, we believe there is a population of 20 still residing here.”
The incredible creatures move rapidly through the trees and our infrared camera cannot penetrate large amounts of undergrowth, making capturing the loris on camera very frustrating. It wasn’t until 2 weeks later that we were lucky enough to capture a loris on camera.