Photos from India

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Orangutans Everywhere

As of this morning, I only have three days left here in Borneo. After figuring out what I wanted to see around my last major town, Kuching, I went ahead and booked a flight back to Kuala Lumpur as well as another on to Medan, Indonesia a couple of days later. With nothing on the agenda for the afternoon I thought I would give the nearby Orangutan sanctuary a look. While the one in Sepilok had been thoroughly disappointing, I had heard so many good things about this place that I had to stop by for a quick visit.

It took a while to figure out which bus to take to get there but I finally succeeded and made it to the sanctuary. As I made my way down the path to the entrance of the facility, I saw several trees around me start shaking. I figured they were orangutans but I would have never expected four of them to come tumbling down to the ground to welcome me to their park. Feeling a bit intimidated and as the park regulations state not to get to close, I kept my distance a few steps back to avoid having my camera or backpack torn from me and flung up into the trees. It quickly occured to me that all of the orangutans who had come to greet me were in search of food. Knowing that I had about four banannas in my backpack, I began to wonder if they were like dogs and could smell food from a long distance away. Not wanting to risk it, I found the nearest trash can and deposited the bananas and found myself able to enjoy the show before me with a much slower heart beat.

As I took a few photos of the Orangutans wandering around the concrete path, a mom and her baby who was attached to her back entered the small souvenir store. The man working there was unsuccessful at chasing them out and the mother orangutan managed to steel a small stuffed baby orangutan which she quickly lost interest in when she discovered that it didn't taste very good. Eventually the man working managed to get the orangutans back into the forest with a few papayas but they didn't loom to far and kept up a pretty good show. Two young males were wrestling nearby on the ground and every time they decided to move to another spot, they seemed to enjoy rolling to it rather than walking. Tumbling down the path like circus performers the orangutans rolled past my feet as I smiled and took pictures. You would never believe that is there natural behavior but here they were, putting on a show for myself and the five other visitors to the park to see!

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