Encounter with the Orangutangs in Borneo
THE MEN FROM THE FOREST – It can be somewhat frustrating to monkey around in Borneo’s humid, hot and dense rainforest to look for ‘The Men in The Forest’, as the Orangutangs are called in Borneo.
When humans are around, the Orangutangs tend to stay in their nests 8-10 meters above your heads, occasionally letting you see and arm or leg dangling up there.
Things get a lot easier, if you go to the famous Orangutang Rehabilitation Center in Sepilok, located at the edge of the forest outside Sadakan. Since 1964, the center has nursed orphaned Orangutangs and brought some other 700 ill Orangutangs back on their feet, often after potentially fatal bouts of pneumonia.
The idea of the center is to bring these marvelous primates back to their normal life in the forest, but as you can see from my shots the other day they do hang around in a very friendly manner, possibly because they can pick up free food twice a day from a platform a few hundred meters inside the forest.
It is certainly great fun to go there and see the Orangutangs in action in a semi-natural setting, and it might even inspire you to endure a few more hours in the ‘real forest’, looking for them in their truly natural environment. In the wild they can only be found in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Orangutangs are considered very intelligent primates, displaying clear learning abilities and passing these off to their off-spring. They typically construct three to four nests per day, sometimes supplying them with a roof in the rainy season.