Orangutan Watching in Borneo

One of our goals in visiting Malaysia was to see wildlife. There’s no better place to do this than on Borneo. Borneo is home to vast rain forests with exotic plants and animals. One of species of animals is the orangutan. These red-haired apes are very large and extremely intelligent. Sadly, their habitats are shrinking because of development. It is now very difficult to find them in the wild. Fortunately for these long-armed creatures, there are a number of rehabilitation centres which try to help them and eventually release them back into the wild. We visited one of these centres called Semmengoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The centre is located about a 30 minute drive from Kuching and we went there on a tour. We had booked the tour through the hotel the day before with the hope of getting there to see the early morning feeding at 9:00 AM. We waited in the lobby for our tour guide who was late by about 30 minutes. Then to further promote our lateness, he had to stop and get gas. While filling up, he neglected to turn off the engine (dangerous!). By the time we arrived, we were late and one of the staff was already calling the orangutans to their morning feeding. Luckily, we didn’t miss anything, as the red-haired giants were a little slow in coming. The centre does not force the animals to come to the feeding. They are free to come and go as they please. It really is a gamble if you will see any apes at all. We were lucky because we saw 4 altogether.

Coming for breakfast

There may have been 4 orangutans altogether but, there were only two stealing the show and they were the mother and baby. The mother and baby went to the feeding platform, grabbed a coconut, walked along the path toward us and climbed a nearby tree. Once they were situated, the mother took the coconut and began to hit it against the tree with one hand until it broke open.

That mother has one strong-arm

First, the mother and baby sucked out the coconut milk and after that, cracked the coconut open completely so , they could eat it.

Eating the fruit of their labour

Once they finished the coconut, they hung out in the tree for a bit.

They eventually tired of this and descended the tree, walked down the main path and then ascended up into the tall trees away from the prying eyes and camera clicks.

We wanted to see wildlife and we definitely wanted to see the red-haired natives of Borneo and we were successful. We didn’t get to see them in the wild per see, but we did get to see them hopefully, on their way back to the wild. Hopefully, in the years to come, these animals will be seen in the rain forests more often and development finds a way to cooperate with nature instead of destroying it.

More apes gone wild pics here.

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3 thoughts on “Orangutan Watching in Borneo

  1. Great photos! I’ve always admired orangutans… they seem like they’re the most peaceful and civilized of the great apes. Thanks for letting me tag along on your exploits!

  2. Pingback: Disappointment at Demai Beach | theplaceswevebeen

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