one day in the forest

Elephant feeding along a forest track in the afternoon.
Partly hidden under vegetation, a duiker browses across the forest track.

7:36 in the morning of Sunday, January 18. The forest is quiet, bathed in the soft light of an overcast day. Seventy-one degrees Fahrenheit. It will warm throughout the day until it reaches 77 degrees under a moonless night sky. A duiker of medium build, perhaps a Bay duiker, browses across the overgrown forest track, where a camera trap has been installed. The duiker pauses to look for danger before crossing the trail. As it feeds, its head disappears below stalks of wild ginger and other vegetation crowding the track.

Thirty minutes later, a gorilla family enters the scene. A mother with newborn in the distance, silverback in the foreground, and juvenile, mostly obscured in the undergrowth, arrive at the forest track from the East. They are possibly out for breakfast having left their roost from the previous night. The female pauses, positioning her tiny infant on her forearm after it slides from her back. The silverback glances left toward camera before shifting his attention to the mother with infant on his right.  Looking uncannily human, the female kneels on one leg, resting an elbow on her knee, her right arm cradling her baby. She then boosts the infant to her shoulder under the watchful eye of the silverback before continuing into forest. A second juvenile follows the female, and beyond, another female with infant ambles through the vegetation. The juvenile following the silverback appears to study the camera for a moment before crossing the track. Finally, in the distance, the last female crosses the track continuing into forest. Seven gorillas, their destination left to imagination.

Later, after nightfall, a family of four elephants make their way up the track. The family, possibly two sisters, a baby of a few months, and a juvenile, stop to feed on fallen Ntom fruits in the forest litter. They circle for a quarter of an hour beneath the slender but tall Ntom on the track before wandering off into the night.
The forest is lively here. This is where the giant pouched rat has a den under a fallen tree. Yesterday, Saturday morning, another chimpanzee passed through, and elephants have been coming every day to feed on the forest fruits.

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