National Geographic : 1975 Oct
after more than 20 minutes, they separated irritable with infants. Sugito, by this time, and sat in adjacent trees. With a mighty had reached a stage of development probab heave T. P. threw a snag and roared. The oth- ly analogous to that of a crawling, inquisi er male disappeared. tive year-old child. He would climb higher We were absolutely elated: We had ob- and higher into the forest canopy, oblivious served the first and only combat ever record- to everything. I marveled at his audacity as ed between two mature wild orangutan males. he swung around and played in the branches, Three days later T. P. and Priscilla mated, practically under the nose of the feeding T. P., and approximately nine months later Pris- who seemed unaware of him. I suspect naive cilla gave birth to a male we named Pete. We little Sugito thought this big orange fellow are almost certain T. P. was the father. would make a fine playmate. We never did see T. P.'s reaction to his Unsuccessful in attracting T. P.'s attention, putative son. We did, however, discover Sugito started climbing toward me. Halfway through a frightening incident that T. P. was down he emitted one tiny squeal. I barely Clown in a stolen costume, Sugito naps in an improvised nest, an old dress and hat swiped from Birute. "If we didn't provide rags," she reports, "the orangutans would bang around all night looking for nesting material."