Sunrise just after 0600 and interesting islands that we passed.
We docked today in the commercial port belonging to Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. Located about 4 miles from the city, we were warned ahead of time that taking a tour or using the shuttle bus were going to be the only way out of the port. Not an issue for us – The Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Borneo are effectively co-located and there was a tour. Both are NGO run and maintained.
First, the Orangutans: (and you can read about them here on Wiki). As you might expect, the numbers have decreased due to forest loss as they are primarily arboreal. Secondly, offspring stay with the mother for 4-6 years… The Center provides services, rehab and maintains viewing areas for twice a day feedings (a reason for people to pay to come watch). Please note – I am not trying to be cynical, but you have to have draw and hook to get new people in on a regular basis in an area that is not wealthy. Our ship was only the third this year….
But what you want are pictures! –
There are ropes and cables from various trees. The small ones seem to race along, sometimes upright and sometimes upside down and hanging by just a paw.
and then there are greens & bananas..
We had to move on to the Sun Bears (again – the Wiki Link) in order for others to get a look as well. So out of one preserve and on to the second. Up paths and stairs to an observation platform. At first they are not completely easy to see –
so cropping the picture –
you can at least see his nose a bit better.
They are the smallest bears – weighing in at 25- 65 kg and so much shorter than the North American grizzly (aka brown bear are 80-600 kg).
There was a top at the Central Market which I skipped. The drive back was smooth and we passed –
many of these original houses are now small shops and restaurants according to the information we were provided. Given that this is an earthquake/tsunami/typhoon area the stilts make a lot of sense.
It is back to the ship, lunch and email catch-up. Next two days are sea days. Might pay for Wifi. Or might do a catch-up when we get to Indonesia.