• Day123

    Orangutans in Borneo!

    October 4, 2018 in Malaysia ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    One of my dreams came true today. I saw wild orangutans in Borneo! Meet Edwin, a 26-year-old really big male who is the next contender for the throne, having already defeated King Ritchie once in a recent fight. The mother is Saddamiah, a 16-year-old with her first baby Ruby, who is 5. I did not get the juvenile's name or age. In one of the pictures, Saddamiah is holding something over her face. She's drinking from a coconut she bashed against the side of the tree. It only took her three smashes. The last two pictures were of two pals in another feeding area. These guys/girls are about a quarter of the size of the big male Edwin, yet as large as the human Ranger who is about 5 and a half feet tall.

    The Semenggoh Nature Reserve ( is home to 30 orangutans, all of whom are free to come and go as they wish. The Rangers provide food at 9 am and 2 pm every day, but there is no guarantee any of the apes will appear. We were very fortunate to have seen them at all.

    The Rangers provided a briefing before allowing about 75 of us to head up the path to the feeding platform. Basically, if they come at you, run. The Ranger briefing us has been bitten severely twice, once that put him in the hospital. Since most of the apes were rescued, some have attacked visitors who had items that looked--to the apes--like a gun, such as selfie sticks and walking canes. Also, the Rangers provide the apes with milk in former water bottles, so if they see a water bottle on you, they will go for it. And since a water bottle isn't worth being maimed and killed for, they will get it while you run for your life. The Ranger was bitten when he attempted to interfere with these attacks. Yet, even with warnings about hiding or not taking water bottles and selfie sticks, people still took them and used them in plain sight of the apes. I did not stand next to those idiots. Fortunately, there were no incidents today.

    It was absolutely amazing to see them, almost to the point of tears. I was so excited that I came straight back to the hotel and downloaded my pictures so I could put them in this post. Just incredible.

    Tomorrow I'm going on another tour, this time to Bako National Park on the northern coast to see proboscis monkeys and other wildlife. Last night, I was so excited about today that I didn't get to sleep until about 3 am. I really excited about tomorrow, too, but I hope I sleep tonight. Maybe I'll take a nap after lunch.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️
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