Published: March 29th 2010March 29th 2010
Once I lived through my horrible bus ride I arrived in Sandakan on the East coast of Sabah. My first stop was the Sepilok Organ Utan Center to see one of Borneo's most famous residents.
They are incredible animals, very human like. The center mentioned that Orang Utans are actually 96.4% human and they are so fun to watch. There are about 20,000 Orang Utans left in the world and without conservation help from human they could be gone in the next 10 years. Basically, all of the rain forests are being cut down to create palm oil plantations so their natural habitat is being destroyed. The main issue is that the mothers get seperated from their babies and the orphans would normally die in the wild because they dont have the proper skills. At the center they have jungle gyms and different things where the babies learn how to swing, get food etc and I believe after about 10 years they can be released back into the wild.
They have built platforms out in the jungle where several types of monkeys come hang out and eventually the shy Orang Utans will come to get something to eat. Some
of the Orang Utans that have been released will never come back to get anything to eat because they are living again in the wild, but some dont miss a meal.
The most exciting part of the day was extremely unexpected. I was waiting for the bus after the feeding / movie and went into the little restaurant to throw trash away and there was quite a ruckus. An unruly orang utan was trying to get into the restaurant (thank you for bars on windows). He actually reached through the bars and hit a guy on the head. Adult male orang utans are 4x stronger than an adult man and the guy said it felt like Hulk Hogan hit him on the head, his girlfriend said it was because he was bald and the Orang Utan thought his head was a coconut :) As the Orang utan continue to scale the building to try and get to the door the park rangers started to freak out, they had to close all of the doors. Right in front of me the ranger was trying to get him under control by scolding him but then he would grab her hat and
really piss her off. He then proceeded to the bus stop and grabbed someones backpack, unzipped it and got out a sandwich and went to town. I think he was satisfied because he finally was submissive, grabbed the rangers hand and away they went.
There are more photos below