kus kus

oecussi_131Makaleb – Oecussi – Kus Kus

The villagers were getting ready to stew these 2 little rascals so I decided to buy them and take the little guys home on my motorbike.

Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus)

oecussi_209.jpgKus Kus in Oecussi

I gave a guy holding a dead  turtle  a lift home on the back of my motorbike.

Killing turtles isn’t too cool but when people are living in such poverty you really don’t feel like preaching, especially when his kids are going hungry.

thumbs_cd5ad_oecussi_129We went down a rutted road to Makaleb, a small village that was composed of those neat little round grass houses you find in the outback in East Timor.

Everyone really got entertained looking at the photos I took with my cheap digital camera. (1.2 megapixel coolpix – he he – state of the art at that time)

note from reader – This is Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus) – Anton Sineri
Conservations Departmen Forestry Faculty Papua University

thumbs_cd5ad_oecussi_131These 2 kus kus were cute little rascals and they really didn’t have that much meat on them.

It seemed like a good idea to buy them and bring them over to a friends house who lives on the beach in town.

We didn’t come to a price but I told them I would return to talk about it.

He wanted to earn enough to pay the boat trip back to Dili (7 dollars) where he had worked as a taxi driver.

oecussi_222.jpg My friend Cris thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and get them so I went back the following day to pick them up.

After a little bargaining we agreed on 20 dollars for the two. The price was a little high but I wanted to help him out so he could get back to his job in Dili.

The rains had started so the rivers were getting full and becoming challenging to drive through.

thumbs_cd5ad_oecussi_280I was using Henry’s ag-bike (of the Backpackers Guest House in Dili) that has the spark plug way on top so it is less likely to short out.

The exhaust pipe is raised up so water doesn’t run in and ruin the valves if your bike stalls in the river.

That bike could chug right through the river but one of the local guys lost his motorcycle half way across. It is one of the risks driving in Oecussi.

When the water gets too high people just don’t travel. Communities are just cut off until it recedes.

It did look ridiculous riding that bike with 2 kus kus but we made it back ok.

oecussi_331.jpgThey munched on mangos, watermellon, cabbage and jambulan when we got to the house.

We tried to see if they would stay in the yard surrounded by a fence but they are very active at night and didn’t want to stick around.

Dogs and kids with slingshots would be a big danger if they started walking around the neighborhood.

These kids will kill any wild animal they come across and these little guys would land up in the cook pot for sure.

thumbs_cd5ad_oecussi_247If the kus kus do get released, it will have to be way out west near the isolated village of Citrana where there are more trees and less people.

If not, they have a big new bamboo cage in the works where they will be relatively protected. We’ll see what happens.

update: The male has made a dash for freedom and was not to be found. Hopefully he made it.

remark sent in by reader in Mar 2010 below – thank you for sending – I cut and pasted it into the main page – great info!

Hi,

I am glad to see you website.
Some people believe is not goot (taboo) to eat this animal because is spesial friends for them (Like se human), but if some time this is common food because they dont have another to eat. i’m study about this mammal since 2001 until now. There are 11 spesies in Papua (Papua and Papua New Guinea) in Papua (indonsia) 7 spesies. one of them have big population but higt levels of hunting. This is Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus) but especially in papua (ex.Numfor Island, Biak, Moor, and another pleace).not only hunt but also the development of a m trigger factor very large. i’m conservationist, i worried for this species. I am hoping to stay awake in the future.
how about you…..

Anton Sineri
Conservations Departmen Forestry Faculty Papua University

 

dp-logokus kus of East Timor

 

 

 

This is Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus)

This is Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus)

two timor cuscus side by side sitting on a branch at night

Oecussi homeOecussi homes in East Timor

dutchpickle logo

Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus)

motorbike in dry riverbed

 

 

 

The trusty motorbike that Henry let me use.

Oecussi homeHouse in Oecussi – really miss you people ! Thanks for your hospitality.

dp

Dec 13, 2006 www.dutchpickle.com

8 responses to “kus kus”

  1. Hi Dutchpickle

    I am glad to have found this wonderful website. It was a link I found in my “stats” for my waray language website. May I add a link to this site on the main page of my website, I think many people would find this site to be very informative.
    I love what you are doing, promoting the Waray language.
    Also all the great posts, will help tourism in the area.
    BTW, I am an American who spends part of the year in Barugo, Leyte. Province life can be boring at times, but I love the people and adventure of being out in the middle of nowhere.
    I have one comment about pictures. Is there any way to view a larger version than what is posted in each article? The small picture does not reveal much detail.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences, it is really a pleasure reading about them.
    Lloyd

  2. DP

    I understand the bandwidth issue.

    Any chance that you could post the larger pictures on a free photo hosting site? Such as Photobucket, ImageShack, or Flickr.

    In any event, reading your blog is enjoyable, and I will post a link on my website, hopefully gaining you a few more readers.

    Thanks again.
    Lloyd

  3. Hi, I enjoyed your kus kus pictures. I lived in Jakarta for five years in the late 70s – early 80s and owned (briefly) a cute little kus kus that I bought from a guy on a street corner. I’ll never forget those huge eyes. Unfortunately, he disappeared like magic. I was playing with him in my living room, let him loose while he was hanging onto a draw string on the drapes, and when I turned around he was gone, never to be seen again despite a long search! I never imagined a slow moving critter like him could move that fast! Thanks for bringing back those old memories.

    George

  4. Hi,

    I am glad to see you website.
    Some people believe is not goot (taboo) to eat this animal because is spesial friends for them (Like se human), but if some time this is common food because they dont have another to eat. i’m study about this mammal since 2001 until now. There are 11 spesies in Papua (Papua and Papua New Guinea) in Papua (indonsia) 7 spesies. one of them have big population but higt levels of hunting. This is Phalanger orientalis (timor cuscus) but especially in papua (ex.Numfor Island, Biak, Moor, and another pleace).not only hunt but also the development of a m trigger factor very large. i’m conservationist, i worried for this species. I am hoping to stay awake in the future.
    how about you…..

    Anton Sineri
    Conservations Departmen Forestry Faculty Papua University

  5. so much to see and discover in this world. great stories, great photos, great site.

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