- Scientific name: Indri
English common name: Indris
Nederlandse triviale naam: Indri's
Day 3 of our trip through Madagascar. 27 July 2008. Analamazaotra National Park, better known as Périnet. Early after sunrise we hear the trumpet-slash-foghorn-like call of the indri coming out of the damp forests. And this is not the noisy forest you might expect. It is not like the Amazone jungle you see in documentaries. You do not hear all the birds, insects and frogs. Especially not in the morning. It is quite quiet. You just hear the call from the indri every now and then as it travels for a mile through the woods.
Other people can whistle on their fingers, I can play a loud trumpet on my hands. When we were still at the resort at the hill- huts where I appreciated the extra blankets - we could hear their call coming from the jungle at the opposite hill, across the water. I trumpeted on my hands. And they responded by answering my loud trumpet noise!
It is a rainforest for sure. Not that tropical; it is montane rainforest. It is chilly. The rain is pouring down, sometimes only a drizzle. We have to walk through thickets and undergrowth away from the paths to follow our guides, orienting at the morning calls of the indri. Along steep muddy hills. You have to be early. In the morning they forage and jump from tree to tree at the lower levels. In the afternoon they sit high up into the trees and you can't find them.
After some climbing around - and spotting other lemures - and a scouting guide ahead we find them. A whole family group of indri's. This is what I came here for. The number 1 animal on my wishlist for Madagascar.
Magnificent creatures. The biggest lemures out there. Mix a fluffy koala with a panda and a black and white colobus monkey and you have an indri.
It was quite hard to shoot good pictures. A lot of scattering light in the drizzle; you have to shoot up to the trees against the light, which causes a white haze. And my camera equipment - Canon EOS 350D with a non-image stabalized 70-300mm zoom lens - was not that great yet. But I managed to get some nice shots! They are beautiful. With amazingly powerful legs, jumping 8 meters between trees easily. Chewing their morning leaves.