In Borneo we went to see the orangutans! (Which translates as man of the forest). First we went to a posh place called “The Rasa Ria” to see some of the cute huggable creatures. When we got there we watched a film about how they help orangutans, (well three-quarters actually, the sound stopped working!) Then we went through a tropical garden to get to the jungle part and climbed up a staircase to get to a platform to see them feeding the young orangutans.
We waited until at last the trees began to move and shake as a little orangutan appeared but it wasn’t happy to come down and eat. So we waited and waited and waited… until suddenly… it disappeared into the tree. Then a french man shouted “Look zere!” as another orangutan appeared from the opposite tree. It was a bit bigger than the other orangutan but at least we saw one. Then one turned into two as the smaller one reappeared to see his pal. We watched them eat for a bit then it turned into a competition: boy orangutan against girl orangutan to get the last banana. Then she lunged for the banana and climbed off down the rope, fighting over nothing!
Now as this cheeky girl is climbing off, banana in one foot, apple in the other, I am walking up to the second platform to get the camera off Dad but as I was walking, a banana fell on my head. I looked up to see an orangutan looking longfully at the banana at my feet so I picked it up and passed it to the orangutan and it dropped it again! I got the camera off Dad and took a picture of that cheeky monkey!
After this, we walked back down the path and I raced ahead and went the wrong way!! Luckily, I found my way back when Morgan shouted for me. After a short wait, we were taken round the corner to meet “TenTen”, the youngest orangutan at the centre.
She was very, very sweet and cute! We watched her climb and swing on the rope, following her ranger who was her surrogate mother! She was very ticklish and squeaked when the ranger tickled her under her arms. Then she began to climb the tree and swung down the rope towards me and Morgan. I thought she was interested in Mog’s curly hair but oh no she wasn’t she must have thought I was someone to play with!!! I just wanted to run in there and give her a great big hug! Unfortunately we were not allowed to touch the orangutans in case they caught any diseases (although I’m sure I don’t have any!!)
The next day we went to Sepilok, near Sandikan and saw more orangutans but this time they were in the wild! We saw a baby with her mother and two young orangutans who were feeding at the platform. The two younger ones were not going near the Big Mamma as she was very protective of her baby! We also saw the more common monkeys called macaques. The centre here rehabilitates stray or orphaned orangutans and releases them back to the jungle when they are ready (about 10 years old).