King of the Jungle

Our next stop was a place called Semengoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. It's not far from Kuching, so an easy 20 minute drive for us. It's a smallish patch of protected rainforest and it is set up as a way of reintroducing injured, stolen, captured animals back into the wild. They have a long list of wildlife released such as pangolins, tarsiers, slow loris, civet cats and of course, the reason why most people visit....the Orangutans. Once again I've only seen them on TV or in a zoo, and my fear was that this place would be just a big zoo. It wasn't. They do say that you are not guaranteed a sighting of the apes, but as they put out big baskets of fruit for them twice a day and 'call' to them....they often come.
So we trudged through a short stretch of forest to the feeding sight (along with about 40 other people) and waited. The park rangers were doing their tarzan type calling to get the apes attention, but as time went by it looked like they weren't coming. The rangers explained to the visitors that 4 orangutans were out near the park entrance, where they also put out food, so most people wandered back off that way. We stayed and hoped for the best. The sky by this time was getting blacker and blacker and the first spots of rain were falling. Visiting time is only an hour and we were approaching 40 minutes by this time. Then, we saw signs of movement high up to our left and what looked like a mother and child stared to make their way down to the feeding sight. The heavens of course chose this exact moment to really open up, and rain poured out of the sky like it does in tropical equatorial countries...i.e. very heavily. Then.....the trees in front of us starting to move like an elephant was barging its way through them... and we got out first sighting of the alpha male...Ritchie.
Anyway enough of my's some shots. They are not great pics, but they were still some distance from us and it was pouring down.

The young one makes his way across the ropes to the fruit

He's rather wet as you can see

Their home in the rain (forest)

The alpha-male 'Ritchie' puts in an appearance

Ritchie tucking into the free fruit


Well we've just had our first week off and have been seeing some of the nearby places. Bako national park was our first stop for an over-nighter. We drove the 45 mins up to the coast and then it was onto a boat for a 20 min ride to the park. It did feel rather like going into Jurassic park, very exciting. An amazing place. Dense jungle, with plenty of established trails for hiking, and lots of interesting flora and fauna to be seen.
We were not disappointed: Macaques, leaf-eater and proboscis monkeys were all there to behold. I've only ever seen proboscis monkeys on TV and thought they were very strange looking beasts, but I was wrong; they were so beautiful up close, the colour of their fur, the way they moved, their expressions...everything about them was majestic and magnificent. We also saw quite a lot of macaques, which as usual were quite cheeky and liked to steal stuff. Still wonderful to observe, even if they have become somewhat corrupted by humanity.
Watching me watching you

The sunlight enhancing the beauty of the golden fur

Large alpha male had just miss-timed his jump and nearly fell,
he then hung like this for long enough to get this shot,
 he was rather excited as you can see.

He then sat eyeing me up, and became quite aggressive, so I moved away

They had this wonderful habit of using the aerial roots of the mangroves as stools

Conveniently placed leaf, he's looking for stuff to pinch.

And he scores a friend's apple core

two young ones playing around

Look what I found!