Friday, January 25, 2008

Selamat pagi

Good morning! (That's Malay up there!)

I had the most incredible short vacation in Malaysia (the Borneo part), and now I've settled in mostly to my new apartment at Host University.

Young orang-utan, Sepilok Rehabilitation Center, Sabah, Malaysia

This orang-utan is one that's being rehabilitated, taught to live in the wild again, but supported with regularly scheduled feeding times. They feed the orangs twice a day, at 10am and 3pm, with bananas and milk. As I understand it, the goal is to keep the young orangs fed, but to make the food relatively boring so they'll eat more and more wild food as they grow up, and eventually move away from the feeding area into a completely wild life. The young orangs are also taught some basic skills here, though the very young are housed elsewhere, and cared for much more closely.

My guide told me they've successfully rehabilitated some 160 orangs back to the wild here over the years.

They have a great platform set up at the feeding area, with a raised walkway through the forest a bit to the platforms. People are allowed to visit the platforms (with some fairly strict rules, of course), and take photos. Raised walkways are a great way to let whusses like me avoid leeches!

Wild Orang-utan, near Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

It's considerably harder to get a good look at a wild orang, but here's probably my best shot. I took a river ride to stay at a jungle resort thing, and then another river ride up further into a smaller river, to look at wildlife. I took over 400 photos, but you'll be glad to know I won't be sharing them all with you!

And now, I'm off to try to figure out how to shower. There ARE extensive instructions on the appliances, but I can't read them. It took me forever to figure out how to turn on the heat in my room last night; it was 13c (in the 50s F) when I finally figured it out. I'm a Northwoods whuss. I hate being cold!


  1. And the adventure begins! So glad you had a good vacation.

  2. Ohmygoshsocool! Great apes are the best, and I'm so jealous that you got to see some in the wild.

  3. I am SO jealous. I love orangs -- they're my favorite great ape by far.

  4. Glad you had a nice break. :) I've been to mainland Maylasia, but never to Borneo. I'd love to go to Borneo one day.