We jumped off the speed boat from Sandakan and gave the two young doctors a lift to see the Orangutan, they were dead chuffed, Patrick of Borneo is a good egg.
We arrived at the centre just before 9.00am and watched a short but very interesting video about the Orangutan rehabitalisation programme. We then had roughly 2 hours to explore the centre via purpose built wooden walkways situated above the rain forest floor. The first two Orangutan were happily walking along the railings towards us. didn’t get chance to take too many photos as it happened so fast and they were soon off back into the rain forest. We then went to an outdoor rehabilitation area for young Orangutans who were still learning the tricks of their trade. It was very warm so all the climbing frames, ropes and tyres were empty apart from to youngsters chilling on a platform in the shade. Finally we watched a young mother who had been released into the forest about six months previously, eating at the feeding table with her new baby who had been born in the jungle.
She keeps returning to the feeding tables that are laden with quite bland food to encourage her to find more adventurous food in the jungle. Once she starts to return only once a month or less frequently, they will carefully tranquilliser her and ship her and her baby off to an area that is four times larger than Sapilok, about 5 hours drive away.
We are now back in the van with Patrick of Borneo for our two hour drive to our hotel, Jungle Walk and evening river cruise.
Had a quick meal and as it was overpoweringly hot Al decided to give the 1 hour Jungle walk a miss. I met Jez, the quite, and we set off, when I asked him what sort of animals we could might/ expect to see, he reeled off Orangutan, pigmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, Maccaks, wild boar, Grey tailed monkeys… but at no stage did he mention Grey Squirrels.
I must admit it was a lovely scenic walk with loads of different sounds of the jungle as a constant background noise and yes, you would have already quested, we saw one grey squirrel….. that was it, unless you count a couple of chickens and a cockerel that was owned by one of the staff.
Didn’t get a picture of the squirrel as it was too fast, got back ten mins before the river cruise..
The river cruise rivalled everything else we have done, it really was amazing and gave you a feeling of being totally out in the wilds. We saw Orangutan, Probescus monkeys, Maccaks, Grey Tailed Monkeys, Horn Bills, Cranes, Crab eating monkeys, crocodile (one) and a vast variety of birds.
We just managed to get back before it got dark and settled down for dinner straight away, then Rod said to me ( English chap who has lived in Oz for 25+ with a wife and two kids) ‘ are you going in the night ride?
Al said get yourself off, it was a bargain at 50 ringgit (£8)
Worse decision of my life. We set off really slowly in an open top landrover scanning the tree tops and local area with a powerful torch, 20 mins in we saw an Owl, fleetingly as it took off in the opposite direction. The minutes ticked by, 3 domestic dogs and a possible sighting of a cat later, we came across a Slow Lorris which are extremely rare, the chap with the torch tried to grab it but it nipped him, he then told the young lady driving the van to grab it but she was fancying around so by this time I was out the van and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck but it wouldn’t let go of the vines it was clinging to, I don’t know why it’s called the Slow Lorris because it got pissed off with me, turned its head and missed my fingers by millimetres as I snatched them out of the way. I got one picture of him retreating slowly away. An hour and a half into our ride we came across an Owl on a pole. It turned its back on us so we continued on.
, That was it, we were just unlucky, roll on tomorrow 😀
Maybe we will get to see something like this?!?