What’s a Proboscis Monkey? Since they’re only found in Borneo, you probably haven’t seen them before, so I’ll start with some photography from my trip to Bako National Park, in the Sarawak region of Malaysia in Borneo (full post on proboscis monkeys can be found here). Like my orangutan encounter the day before (including baby orangutans!), I was just steps away from these rare creatures, giving me plenty of opportunity to observe and photograph. I did plenty of both!
Bornean Orangutans and baby orangutans
I’m still buzzing from being just steps away from a couple of orangutans in the Sarawak region of Malaysia, western Borneo (semi-wild). Humans are close relatives, sharing more than 95% of DNA with humans, and you could tell. They’re rare and were fascinating to watch.Orangutans are about four times stronger than humans, so this is the closest I’d want to be
I actually saw orang-utans twice earlier in my trip, but they were so far away that it just looked like shadowy ape-like figure in the tree with a slightly reddish/brown color. It was exciting at the time, but turned out to be just an appetizer for this experience.Orangutan infants often cling to their mothers for the first 2-4 years
I went to Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, a temporary home for various endangered wildlife of Sarawak, especially orang-utans that were rescued from captivity. There’s no bars or cages – the orangutans come and go as they please, and they help train them with basic skills that they would have learned with the goal of re-initroducing them into the wild. Visitors can have a chance to see them at twice daily feeding times. Since I already saw that earlier in my trip, I’ll skip to the good part.
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.
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.
Note – this post has moved to here –Monkey steals camera
Who knew primates had photography skills? A monkey stole a wildlife photographer’s camera, and then started taking pictures of himself, even smiling in the photos. The crested black macaque monkey (black ape) swiped the camera and took self-portraits at arms length, like you’d see on a 15-year old girl’s Facebook page.
Both photo galleries from our day with the monkeys on the cliffs of Ulu Watu are below – click SL for slideshow, and FS for full screen mode.
Monkeys at Ulu Watu part2
the baby monkeys were so playful, so adorable[img src=http://www.Visit50.com/wp-content/flagallery/monkeys-at-ulu-watu-part2/thumbs/thumbs_monkeys-at-ulu-watu-72.jpg]40