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Borneo April 2015: Primates, Pygmy Elephants and much more….


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Sangeeta

@@Sangeeta

Not macro - just big flowers :)

 

Shows you how much I know! Those a very detailed big flowers :) Lovely stuff, Tony - you're a mood-brightener too (along with @pault).

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I mentioned early that the hotel runs a number of nature related activities. We had booked a night walk for this evening. It started at 7pm we were the only guests and it was very enjoyable walking t

Our guide is called Landrico, but known as Junior. (we find out later that he was a guide for the BBC team that made “Expedition Borneo” about 10 years ago). The boat is low in the water and has two r

Next Day Up at 5.45 – a cup of fine Sabah tea and we meet by the boat to set off at 6.30.   We see a Crab-eating macaque on the mud at the edge of the river and then Youngsters playing in the ea

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michael-ibk

That Trogon is a stunning bird - just beautiful. Love the colours in your photos, that cauiflower is particularly impressive. It seems you would have developed a beer-belly by the end of this trip.?

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graceland

@@TonyQ, I am quite enjoying your entire story, the shots of the lodge (lovely), the birds, flowers, bats, trogons etc. but that FRUIT! Oh my it is colossal, or is that macro as well, LOL

 

Can you eat it? Did you. What a way to grow fruit.

 

(obviously I like fruit as well as wildlife, LOL)

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kittykat23uk

Beautiful shots! Especially the trogon!

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Treepol

@@TonyQ this is a wonderful TR, lots of helpful information and wonderful bird and fruits of the forest photos. I am impressed by the number of hornbill species that visitors to Sabah might see.

 

The trogon must be one of the ultimate in flashy birds!

 

So you recommend 2 nights at Sepilok? How many visits to the RDC/forest and what are the best times of day to visit? Do you recommend visiting with a guide?

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Atravelynn

There you go again showing off your seedpod photographing ability in #49. Nice job with those fast moving subjects--squirrels. The Red Giant Flying Squirrel was adorable tucked in the knothole, waiting out the Wallaces’ Hawk Eagles.

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Safari Cal

Great stuff @@TonyQ, glad you had a great time in Sabah. Loving your TR and photos.

 

Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip :D

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PCNW

So enjoyable @@TonyQ thanks for sharing.

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TonyQ

@@Sangeeta

Thank you -that is very kind

@@michael-ibk

The trogon is very colourful and helpfully sat still - the only sort of bird I can see! The beer was purely medicinal. :)

@@graceland

I don't know what sort of fruit it is so we didn't try eating it! (I thought that cauliflori was a type of fruit and only found out when we got back that it is the way fruit grow on the trunk of the tree)

@@kittykat23uk

Thank you - and thank you for recommending the RDC

@@Treepol

Thank you. Re:Sepilok it was about the right amount of time for us - although we would have happily spent more time at the RDC. The Sepilok Nature Resort would also be a good place to relax after a long flight. I suppose it depends really on how much time you have got and what else you want to do!

We went to the RDC early in the morning and then went back in the late afternoon. With hindsight, we could have stayed longer in the morning and returned earlier in the afternoon because most of the trails (those on the ground) are in the shade for much of the day. I would still leave for the middle of the day - but there is a place to eat and gardens where you could spend time.

 

We went without a guide and enjoyed wandering on our own (we had a trail map so wouldn't get lost). However (again with hindsight) it would have been good to go with a guide for one of the visits as I am sure you would see more wildlife. You might also be able to do a night walk with a guide.

 

(I know you thought of going to Borneo, if you are thinking of going again - don't hesitate to ask for any details)

 

@@Atravelynn

Thank you - seedpods, a new speciality!

 

@@Safari Cal

Thank you - after Sepilok we go to the section inspired by your trip (and visit Abai and Kinabatangan)

 

@@PCNW

Thank you for reading it and for your kind comment

Edited by TonyQ
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TonyQ

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

 

This centre opened about a year ago in Sepilok and is opposite the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. It currently has 37 rescued Sun Bears. We visited twice – once in the morning of our full day and again on our last morning. On the first day we went while it was visiting time at the Orang Utan Centre on the (correct) assumption that there would be fewer visitors here.

 

http://www.bsbcc.org.my/welfare-and-rehabilitation.html

http://www.bsbcc.org.my/visit.html

 

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The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest bear species. It is omnivorous, eating invertebrates, fruit and honey. They measure 120-150cm long and weigh 20-70Kg and were once found throughout Asia, from India to Vietnam and China to Borneo. They are classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. Their numbers have decreased dramatically due to deforestation, commercial hunting (for their gall bladder and their paws) and the pet trade (adults are killed so that the “cute” small cubs can be sold as pets).

 

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is set up to rescue sun bears, promote their conservation and to return sun bears to the forest where possible.”

 

It aims to provide rescued bears with a better life in a forest centre, develop their survival skills and eventually release bears into the wild. The centre has only been open for a year so has not released any bears yet. It accepts that some bears have been so traumatised and damaged by their previous captivity that it is unlikely they will be released. The centre also aims to provide education and support research.

 

The centre is open to tourists, with viewing platforms overlooking some of the bear enclosures. The bears are fenced in so you are not going to see wild animals – but they are in part of the forest. Supplementary feeding is provided once a day, but this is at random times during the day.

 

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They can climb trees in the enclosure

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Look for food under branches

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Explore

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Strip tree bark to find insects underneath

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You can see from those claws why they would not make a good pet!

One of the young bears we saw had been found by forest rangers who heard shots, rushed to the scene and found the youngster next to its dead mother.

Edited by TonyQ
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TonyQ

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They can also learn to interact with other bears

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The patch on their chest is unique and allows identification of individuals

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So if you go, don't expect animals in the wild and a wilderness experience. This is not what is on offer. However, we enjoyed our visits and feel that these bears certainly have a better life. We hope that they do mange to release some of them in the near future.

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SafariChick

@@TonyQ this report and the photos are just brilliant! I love all the orangs of course, but I really love those first two photos in post 19, the lotus flower and the seed pod - the lotus is so sharply in focus it almost looks digital and not real! And would you believe we actually have a few of those seed pods (if that is what they are called) that are shown in the second photo! It sounds funny but a designer gave them to us to use as decoration, no idea where she got them!

Edited by SafariChick
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Treepol

@@TonyQ tnaks for the information, I think Borneo may have edged out Madagascar for 2017, so I am sure to have more questions in the future.

 

I was happy to see some of those rescued bears exhibiting natural behavious such as looking under branches for food and stripping bark in search of insects.

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Zubbie15

@@TonyQ, very interesting trip report, I hadn't seriously considered visiting Borneo but this is making me rethink that. Too many interesting places, and not enough time. The bear pictures are really inspiring, hopefully they can successfully rehabilitate and release some in the future.

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Kitsafari

@@TonyQ i'm at post #50 and me and hubby are so jealous! we heard the trogon many times in danum valley and the only time we sighted it, my OH couldn't get a good pix of it. your photo is so clear. photographer's skills! It's beautiful!

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kittykat23uk

@@Treepol both Madagascar and Borneo are wonderful destinations, do both!!

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Treepol

@@kittykat23uk I will certainly be doing both, in two separate years though.

 

I am so looking forward to retirement, for lots of reasons - especially being able to travel when I want for as long as I want!

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Tom Kellie

Great stuff! I think your squirrels are Bornean black banded. Prevost's is the black one with the reddish belly.

 

~ @@kittykat23uk

 

Thank you for the identification clarification.

Most appreciated, as I'd been somewhat confused.

The Callosciurus orestes image struck me and several students here due to the rare beauty of such a dark squirrel.

We sought definitive identification, due to our admiration of the animal's beauty.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

You are a genius with ginger, limes, and many variations of fish at the market. You must be an artist, graphic designer, interior decorator, or similar--if not for a profession, then for a hobby!

 

The seed-head shot--can it even be real? And the seedpod below it is such an exquisite creation.

 

Looking again at the tarantula, it is different from any I've seen. It appears to have extra armor or accessories. How common was a tarantula sighting?

 

Sunsets are breathtaking. Birds are outstanding. Your orangs are superb. The variety just keeps getting bigger and better!

 

~ @@Atravelynn

 

Totally agree — those food and market images are really something!

As to the ‘armored tarantula’ sighting — I'm relieved to admit that it's no different than any other tarantula to me as thus far my travels have never included any tarantula sightings.

Thank heavens for such blessings!

Tom K. -the-Arachnophobe

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie

Thank you for the kind comments, and for your identification of the lotus. I didn't recognise it at the time, but as soon as you named it I could see the similarity to those seen in Buddhist paintings.

 

~ @@TonyQ

 

Having worked for a substantial part of my career in both Japan and China, I've become lotus conscious.

There's a marvelous lotus test garden at the Wuhan Botanical Garden by East Lake in Wuhan.

Lotus have a sublime grace all their own, not to mention the exceptionally attractive seed pods.

I'm fully deferring to you and @@Atravelynn on the tarantula identification. That's one form of wildlife which I'd best leave to my betters!

Thank you for posting such consistently vivid images, which are exactly as I might want to make, were fortune to ever cast me on Borneo's shores.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-81310200-1432555587_thumb.jpg post-49296-0-69872700-1432555601_thumb.jpg post-49296-0-83583800-1432555613_thumb.jpg

~ @@TonyQ

 

Well, you and @@Thursday's Child certainly had a wonderful visit to Borneo.

The segment with consecutive images of red clerodendron, orchid and poinciana blooms was a stunner!

I admire your ability to relate your experience such that it's both unhurried and brisk. Ideal pacing, beautifully enhanced by such pleasing images.

The raptor at a kill...the crow with an insect...the fruit bats...it all goes on and on, one delight after another.

Please know that those of us who've undertaken trip report authorship recognize the care you've given to providing us with a clear, attractive, comprehensive look at your Borneo.

Many, many warm thanks for a trip report with both style and grace, in the most improbable of locations, sun bears and all.

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

@@TonyQ this report and the photos are just brilliant! I love all the orangs of course, but I really love those first two photos in post 19, the lotus flower and the seed pod - the lotus is so sharply in focus it almost looks digital and not real! And would you believe we actually have a few of those seed pods (if that is what they are called) that are shown in the second photo! It sounds funny but a designer gave them to us to use as decoration, no idea where she got them!

 

post-49296-0-10075200-1432556553_thumb.jpg

Lotus Seedpod

Photographed on 21 October, 2012 at 2:19 pm at the Beijing Olympic Forest Park, with an EOS 1D Mark IV camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens and EF 1.4x extender.

ISO 100, 1/20 sec., f/4, 560mm focal length, monopod-mounted Manual exposure.

***********************************************************************************************************

~ @@SafariChick

I'm always drawn to lotus seedpods, so understand why you like yours!

Tom K.

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TonyQ

@@SafariChick

Thank you. I think the seedpods are very appealing so I can see why a designer might like them

@@Zubbie15

Too many places, not enought time so true.

@@Kitsafari

The trogon is luck as well - we saw one in Danum that was much further away - this one sat still for a while!

@@Treepol

Wow - retirement. I can only imagine the sort of journeys you will do then! I agree with @@kittykat23uk that madagascar is amazing as well, so god to hear that you will go to both.

@@Tom Kellie

Thank you for your kind comments about the pictures and the writing, and for another lotus seed pod.

Edited by TonyQ
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TonyQ

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

 

It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to walk from our hotel.

 

http://www.orangutan-appeal.org.uk/about-us/sepilok-rehabilitation-centre

 

The centre looks after young Orang Utans orphaned by logging, deforestation and the pet trade (where the mother will be killed to get the baby)

 

The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. There is a “nursery” for young babies, and then a buddy system is used where younger animals are paired with older ones to learn the skills they need to survive. (Climbing, foraging, nest building and of course social interaction).

 

They are then released into the forest; supplementary feeding is provided twice a day (which is open to visitors). They spend most of their time in the forest – some come in for “free” food, some do not. The centre has also started releasing animals into the Tabin reserve.

 

Lots of tourists visit the feeding. There are wooden walkways and a seating area. You are allowed to stay for an hour, but many tourists leave well before this. We made two visits (one afternoon, one morning) and on both occasions more Orang Utans came towards the latter part of the hour. (Photos are from both visits) Babies are viewable from the nursery area where visitors are behind glass. The animals (other than the babies) can come and go as they please, but do not expect a “wild” experience – however we found it interesting and enjoyable.

 

Orang Utans approach through the forest

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They reach the feeding platform by moving along one of the ropes

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Different techniques are used

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and there may not be a rush

 

Other animals are also interested

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Giant squirrel

At the feeding platform

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TonyQ

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These two appeared to be “friends”



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Prevost’s Squirrel



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Orang Utan crosses the visitor area (they can be dangerous - food and drink are forbidden here!)



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Hanging around (it is fascinating to see their feet used almost like hands!)



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Developing nest building skills



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Edited by TonyQ
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