Searching for Orangutan’s but finding hope for Borneo’s Endangered Wildlife

Male proboscis monkey above the Kinabatangan River. Photo Credit David McGuire

“Hold it.” Hasri’s upheld hand tells us. He takes two soundless steps on the dried leaves in the lowland Borneo rainforest and listens. We pause for the strange sound to repeat itself among the jungle cicadas and morning calls of birds. From the dense undergrowth comes a cross between a moan and a hoot. The Orangutan ‘s call repeats itself from the bush nearby. We wait, hoping to catch a glimpse of the great ape or hear a return call from another, but the sound of the brush indicates the ape’s withdrawal. Endemic to Borneo and sumatra, the Malay word Orungutan is “forest person.”

Male proboscis monkey above the Kinabatangan River.

“That is the female and her baby I saw yesterday “ Hasri says quietly and continues on, pointing out a troop of Macaque monkeys moving through the tree tops. A Garnet Pitta calls from the dense undergrowth, followed by a glimpse of the bright blue and brilliant red bird that shines like a jewel in the dark green surrounds. We exit the shade of the tall Fig trees into the sunshine on the bank of the Kinabatangan River of Malaysian Borneo. Monkeys forage along the shore of the river, as the forest birds sing the songs they have been singing for eons. It feels eerily primeval until one’s eye crosses the river. Across the bank stretches seemingly endless rows of an oil palm plantation.

Hasri Raman (at middle light blue ) at Photo Credit Martin Vogel

Our guide, Hasri Raman, is a rangy local nature guide, who has worked with the community initiative for more than 16 years . Hasri is the head of the Batu Puteh Community Ecotourism Co-operative (KOPEL) wildlife monitoring unit, and enjoys wildlife photography alongside his job of helping visitors encounter —> Read More