Monday, 18 April 2016

O IS FOR ORANG-UTAN : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 15 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:

'Wildlife Encounters'



Edited extract from one of my articles published in Air Nuiguini’s in-flight magazine:

The trail was slick with mud. Sweat trickled down my back. The air smelt rich and peaty from rotting leaves. Thick jungle muffled the scrapings and scratchings of unseen wildlife. My husband stopped abruptly with a small exclamation of disgust. A leech was exploring his boot.


We were in the Sepilok Forest Reserve in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo searching for pongo pygmaeus, better known as orang-utan: The Man of the Forest.
The orang-utan is the only ape in South-east Asia and their numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate.
We slogged for an hour up the track in the reserve but our search only yielded ants, millipedes and leeches. Our time was limited. If we wanted to see orang-utans we would have to visit the rehabilitation centre. 

Staff conduct two feeding sessions for the apes at a nearby platform in the forest. The orang-utans who visit this feeding station are in the last stages of rehabilitation. Whilst the animals are completely at liberty, they haven't quite severed ties with the Centre.
We followed the signs along wooden boardwalks to the busy public viewing area. 

Ropes had been placed to allow the apes easy access to the feeding platform. We watched in delight as young apes swung along these ropes, stopping periodically to take a good look at the gawping visitors.






I was struck by their silent contemplation of us and gentle behaviour with each other. ­­



We went for another walk along a trail in the reserve in the hope of seeing a male adult Man of the Forest. But the fully grown males don't need human interaction any longer and stay hidden deep in the reserve. 

All we got were leeches and millipedes, but maybe it was better that way.


See you tomorrow – I’m heading south east again. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?


If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE


28 comments:

  1. Mmmmm... SE? I wonder... while you wander!
    Maybe a platypus in Oz? ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. Ah, the weird and wonderful platypus. Did you know that when a (dead) platypus was taken to England in the eighteenth century the scientists of the day thought it must be a hoax.
      Won't it be fantastic if it is my animal tomorrow?

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    2. Yes... just fantastic!! ;-)

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  2. Orang Utan. I guessed right! For once. Lovely photos, Susan.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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  3. Thanks, Aneeta - glad you enjoyed this post.

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  4. My son's friend - and by association mine - travels far and wide in search of wildlife to photograph. Orang-utans are one of his passions. Sometimes I copy his FB posts, so look out for Woody Wood!

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    1. They are such special animals, Liz - so gentle and intelligent - it's truly terrible that they are so endangered due to human interference.

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  5. I think these are my favourite apes. They just seem gentle even though they are huge.. I'm not sure what your next animal will be...penguin?? platypus??

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    1. I think they're my favourites too, Birgit. (Good guesses)

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  6. That must have been wonderful to see. I thought I'd travelled a lot of the world, but you....!

    Keith's Ramblings

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    1. They were indeed wonderful, Keith. I've still got plenty of places on my wishlist to see.

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  7. I hope to see them someday. But right now I am happy with the pictures you have posted here :)

    Cheers,
    Srivi - AtoZChallenge
    O for Obsession | Twitter

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  8. No, leeches are never the better alternative!! Brrrr. The young Orang-utans seem so carefree but I know none in the wild are. Great post.

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  9. Thanks, Roland. But, you know, even leeches are interesting. :)

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  10. If there is one animal I long to see in person as it were, it is the orang-utan. REALLY long. I have done the orang-utan before on the challenge! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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    1. Yes, Liz - orang-utans were very high on my wish list. I would have liked to have caught a glimpse of one when we were out in the reserve, but I shouldn't be greedy.

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  11. Beautiful pics. Though seeing them in person is a whole different experience all together...

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    1. It is. When you can see, smell, hear and 'feel' the atmosphere in a creature's natural habitat it does make a profound difference.

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  12. Oh my those are incredible photos Susan! So vivid I felt as though I could almost hear the orangutans. :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post, Sue. Orang-utans are very quiet though. It's quite possible that we came close to some in the reserve but never heard them. :)

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  13. Great photos Susan! I love orangutans too :)

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  14. Those are some very cute pics Susan... Thanks for sharing...
    Cheers, Archana - www.travelwitharchie.com

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  15. Hi, Archana and thanks for dropping by!

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  16. Great pictures! Love your blog and how each post takes the reader on an adventure!

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  17. Hi Jared - sorry for the delay in responding to your comment - I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

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Thank you for your comment!