In the jungle
After a relaxing morning at the hostel, I was picked up at 1.15pm to go to a lodge in the jungle on the Kinabatanga river. The lodge was bigger with more people staying there than I expected. Those who arrived today were put into one group for the wildlife trips. In the late afternoon we went out by boat to look for wildlife along the river. Lots of animals live along the edge of the river and sightings are frequent. But the reason so many animals are there isn’t good. Palm oil plantations have destroyed the rest of the habitat and the animals are now confined to a smaller area along the river.
We saw two wild orangutans high up in the trees – a female with a youngster. The were too far away for good photos but it was good to see a truly wild orangutan. We also saw lots of macaques – two different types with different tails – and some far away proboscis monkeys. I was especially excited to see Borneo Pygmy Elephants. They were quite far away on the edge of a palm plantation. The guide told us that the elephants like eating the palm nuts and the response of the plantation owners is one of the reasons for the sharp decline in elephant numbers. When they find elephants in the plantation, they shoot them. We also saw an Oriental Pied Hornbill which is in the extras.
It was dark when we got back from the boat trip. After dinner we went on a night walk. They divided us into two groups after I and another woman said that with so many people we wouldn’t be able to see much but there were still 7 of us. We saw mostly insects – millipedes, spiders and a lantern bug (see extra) – but we also saw some extremely colourful sleeping birds. They didn’t move when the guide shone a torch on them. My photos of them are all rubbish though.