The Orang Utan is one of the four species of great ape and the only one that is exclusively Asian. In fact, it can only be found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. It’s name actually means “man of the forest” but it has often been romanticised in older writings as the “Old Man of the Forest”.
Risking severe injury from airline food, the Lone Grey Squirrel flew to the town of Sandakan, Sabah and took a 50 minute hair-raising limb endangering taxi ride to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. This Centre which is run by the Wildlife Department receives Orang Utans which have been orphaned or displaced by forest clearing. They also received animals which were kept as pets cause they are so cute as babies but were then abandoned by their owners when they grew up and became too much to handle.
The centre tries to re-train them to survive by themselves in the jungle. More than 100 orang utans have gone through this rehabilitation program. Many have been successfully returned to the jungle, appearing occasionally to visit and to free load on fruits made available twice a day at a feeding platform. Some though, never graduate to freedom and remain dependent on human feeding for their entire lives.
Armed only with my new Canon EOS 60D camera (Birthday/Christmas gift from the wife. Thanks dear) which was making its very first field debut, this intrepid squirrel risked being mistaken for a banana to bring you (dear readers), the following picture report.