A story about an event organized by Yayasan Adudu Nantu Internasional (YANI) written by Mansur, a 9 year-old scout from Gorontalo, Indonesia
Peering through binoculars from a leafy tree-hide six metres high, I spot a Babirusa with huge curling tusks on the salt-lick below. I have never before in my life seen a Babirusa, and so close!
My name is Mansur. I am a scout from Sari Tani village in Sulawesi. Early this morning my school friends and I waded across the rushing Nantu River with our scout leaders. We are here for three days to learn about the Nantu Forest and its wildlife, together with 300 other local scouts from our district.
This forest in Gorontalo Province is one of Sulawesi’s last remaining pristine rainforests. Nantu is filled with amazing tusked pigs (Babirusas), horned forest buffalos (Anoas) and tiny big-eyed jumping Tarsiers that cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
I am amazed to learn everything our scout leaders and friends from Gorontalo State University’s Conservation Club explain to us. Best of all is to stand beside the gigantic rainforest trees, which make me feel very small! I had no idea before that the huge colourful birds (Red-knobbed hornbills) that fly loudly over my village are found nowhere else on the planet – except in Sulawesi, my home island!
Our headmaster tells us “Tidak kenal, tidak sayang" (We cannot value what we do not know”). This is why we are spending time learning about our forest.
After eating some rice on a table-cloth of banana leaves it is time for us to go to sleep. Lying in my tent I think of the family of Tarsiers that, as we learned today, leap through the forest by moonlight in their search for food.
The event was organized by Yayasan Adudu Nantu Internasional (YANI) and Wonosari 16 Primary School, Gorontalo for young scouts from all over Wonosari district in Gorontalo Province, Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is supported by SOS – Save Our Species and ADM Capital Foundation.
This story also appeared on the IUCN blog.