Proudly presented to you, the Orang Utan show, at 10am and 3pm daily in Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctaury of Sabah Borneo. The feeding platform is more like a performance stage of orangutan now. Nearly hundred of tourists waiting anxiously for the appearance of Borneo’s superstar, the orang utan. As a “warm-up” opening, the pig-tailed macaques showed up on the platform first. The red and swollen sexy butt of a female macaque caused a hot discussion among the curious crowd.
Then a male orangutan arrived. When everyone was so excited to see him, he started playing with his little bird in front of the public, as if the people were transparent. “His bird bird was so small…”, some commended. Ok, I will let you decide if this is cute.
Soon a few younger orangutan came and the feeding started. The last time I saw this was in year 2005. I took some photos with my lousy compact camera. I blogged and shared the photos online. The photos were not good (in fact a disaster), but surprisingly they are one of my most visited photo galleries. I always wanted to come back to take better photos of them, for this 2nd orangutan blog.
The “show” was a big success. The tourists were pleased with what they saw, though the only thing orangutan did was eat, eat, eat. Haha… if I do a show like this, audiences will throw stones at me. Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is not a zoo. The orang-utan here was “semi-wild.” Most of them were orphans rescued by the Wildlife Department. Baby orang-utan cannot survive without parents, so they are taught survival skill in this centre. They are released to the wild when they grow up. The sanctuary provides regular feeding, as an alternative food source, for those who haven’t learn to live totally independent in forest. Once they can live on their own, they may not return for feeding anymore.
Putting orangutan in zoo is not a good option for conservation efforts, as that will change their natural behaviour. The international and local environmental bodies have been pressuring our government and oil palm industry to stop large scale clearing of rainforest, the habitat of orangutan. Having the conservation policy is not enough, if it is not enforced efficiently. Let’s hope and work for a better future for the “Men of Forest” (orang utan).
The orangutan is a highly intelligent animal. They can memorise different types of fruits, their locations and fruiting seasons. More amazingly, they can pass on this knowledge to their offspring. Like the photos below, the ranger tried to show the orangutan how to break the sugarcane, and they picked up the skill and seemed to know what they were doing.
There were only 4 or 5 orangutan showed up, though I thought it should be more. Probably some of them were transferred to
Lokkawi Wildlife Park in Lokkawi and Rasa Ria Nature Reserve in Tuaran? Bet they would miss the free banana, sugar-cane and milk in Sepilok.
Really cuteness overwhelming.. In an hour, we could see so many facial expression. I had them all captured in the photos. Many tourists would not hesitate to hug and kiss them if allowed. Orangutans are adorable but it is illegal to keep this protected animal as pet.
Please feel free to check out more photos. Remember these photos are copyrighted. You may only use them for non-commercial and non-profit purposes (e.g. personal blog, conservation awareness), as long as you don’t remove the copyright stamp. If you are an environmental organisation, you may contact me to sponsor the photos.
Photos taken in Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo