Orangutans & Sun Bears

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.


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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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