Orangutans in Borneo

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November 4th 2010
Published: June 22nd 2017
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The ship moored at Kuching, in Sarawak which is the part of Malaysia on Borneo Island. A coach took us out to the Semenggoh Wildlife centre and then a shuttle bus into the forest followed by a short walk through the forest to an observation platform. We had to be really quiet and not use flash photography but it is amazing how many people still couldn't turn off their flash! After a while during which the Ranger was making calls, we saw a few trees starting to shake and slowly 2 Orangutans came swinging through the trees, attracted by a bunch of bananas left out for them. One was a female with a youngster, who stayed up in the trees while Mum swung down, grabbed the bananas and took them up to the little one. The youngster was really cute and hadn't quite developed the art of graceful swinging along the branches so he seemed to be all arms and legs. When it was all too much he hung onto Mum for a free ride. More trees were then seen swaying and crashing and along came a large male. None of the others came near while he was around, so he had a leisurely breakfast of bananas and then took a coconut, smashed it against a tree trunk to open it and bit through the flesh with very powerful teeth. I noticed the Ranger kept a respectful distance away from the big guy who they called Mr.Ritchie. After he had gone a few more of the younger ones came down and we saw about 9 altogether which was very lucky. During the later summer months there is plenty of fruit to be had on the trees so they don't bother to come to the feeding platform.

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