Posted by: Ross Gardner | March 12, 2018


Orang-utan baby 5 (scaled)

Back to Borneo and Sepilok.  The place is perhaps most well-known for the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. Established in 1964 it rescues baby Orang-utans, whether orphaned by logging, habitat destruction (often for the vast oil palm plantations), hunting or being kept illegally as pets. The Centre trains the young apes up in the nursery, as their mothers would in the wild, to prepare for life in the forest.

Orang-utan 13 (scaled)

Rehabilitated Orang-utan are released into the 4294 hectare forest reserve. Feeding takes place twice a day at the Centre, too which the residents can come and go as they please. Some will always return, others are not seen again, taking fully to life in the wild. Occasionally the regular supply of food attracts fully wild animals, like this huge male who, we were told, never went through the system (they can be identified by numbers tattooed onto their arms).

Sun Bear climbing (scaled)

Opposite the Orang-tuan centre is the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. This rescues Sun Bears that can be kept in abysmal conditions, often for the deplorable harvesting of their bile, apparently highly valued as a supposed Chinese medicine.

Parthenos sylvia - Clipper 2 (scaled)

There is, of course, a great deal else to be seen here, like the beautiful Clipper butterfly (Parthenos sylvia) for starters.

Neurothemis ramburii (scaled)

The stunning dragonfly, Neurothemis ramburii is common.

Four-lined Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax) (scaled)

A night walk at the Orang-utan Centre reveals more of the great diversity of forest life, perhaps more so than in the daytime, thanks to the keen eyes of the guides. This Four-lined Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax) is one of many species of frog at large in the darkness.

Western Tarsier (scaled)

A nocturnal visit to the nearby Rainforest Discovery Centre revealed more oddities of the forest, not least this Western Tarsier. These curious-looking little primates (about 12-15cm long) are insectivores, with huge eyes adapted for hunting in the dark. It was a privilege indeed to be able to lay our own eyes on one.

Whip Scorpion - Hypoctonus sp. (prob) 2 (scaled)

Smaller life abounds, including these superb Whip-scorpions (Hypoctonus sp.). Their long front legs can be used with such deftness that they can feel in the dark for their prey without the victim even knowing it is being touched.

Hornbill Tower view (scaled)

A visit in the daylight and a climb up the many steps of the Hornbill Tower reveals the beauty of the rain-forest from a lofty perspective……

Darter 7 (scaled)

…… and fine views of some the forest bird-life, like the positively reptilian Darter, as sleek and as streamlined as an aquatic predator of fish should be.

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