Category Archives: Malaysian Borneo

Hornbills – look at those bills!

Check out those bills!  These are Hornbills, and they were easy to find from their noisy distinctive sounds in the thick forests of Sungai Kinabatgangan River on our little safari in Malaysian Borneo.

Unique Breeding Strategy: During mating periods, females are incarcerated in a tree cavity and fed by the male for the duration of incubation until the young are ready to leave on their own. Thus they need fairly large tree cavities, so they rely on large trees in old growth forests.  Thus the presence of hornbills is actually a sign of the forest’s health.

There’s 54 species of these large birds, 8 of which are in Borneo.

Slideshow: Borneo Diving in Sipadan – Semporna Archipelago

Underwater photos from my SCUBA diving experience in amazing Sipadan, within the Semporna Archipelago (in Borneo / Malaysia), the best diving I’ve ever done. I’ve posted assorted images from my first time using the underwater camera when diving. Photos from my Borneo diving adventure in the Semporna Archipelago are below (Press SL for Slideshow, FS for Full Screen):

Borneo diving

Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle
Whitetip Reef Shark
Whitetip Reef Shark
1st underwater photo of me SCUBA diving
1st underwater photo of me SCUBA diving
Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle
school of Jackfish
school of Jackfish
Tabletop Coral
Tabletop Coral
shark! Whitetip Reef Shark
shark! Whitetip Reef Shark
Harlequin Sweetlips
Harlequin Sweetlips

Orangutans in Borneo – Man of the Forest

Asia’s only great ape, the orang-utan or ‘man of the forest‘ is found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, so I was excited to see them while in Malaysian Borneo.

After hearing about lots of crammed zoos (I’m talking to you Beijing), it was great to be introduced to the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. They take in orphaned and confiscated orang utans as well as Sun Bears, Gibbons, and the occasional injured Elephant. They provide basic medical care, and then train them with basic skills to survive again in the wild (that the mother would normally teach) with the goal of successful reintroduction into the wild as soon as they’re ready.

Recently rehabilitated individuals have their diet supplemented by daily feedings of milk and bananas, which makes it a nice tourist attraction, since the feedings provide an excellent chance to see orang-utans.  In this respect the part we can see looks just like a zoo, but a little more research reveals them to be one of the world’s leading wildlife rehab centers due their track record of successfully reintroducing orangutans into the wild.  They say the additional food supplied is purposefully designed to be monotonous and boring so as to encourage the apes to start to search for food for themselves.