Ephemera E08 – Exploring the disappearing wildlife of Borneo rainforest


Think of a huge natural ecosystem with
incredible biodiversity being gradually replaced by a new one where endemic
species can live anymore this is the reason I wanted to visit the Borneo rainforest, where orangutans and other unique species are seeinng their home
taken away I arrived in Kota Kinabalu in the
Malaysian part of the island and look for the best way to get to the heart of
the forest On the Internet are run into Sticky Rice a tour operator that works closely with the
Danum Valley Field Center a facility for conducting
research and supporting scientists in rainforests studies. they helped me arrange my trip. On the way there I make a detour in Sepilok to visit some centers that take care of endangered species such as orangutans, proboscis
monkeys and sunbears. At the orangutans rehabilitation centre I’m only able to
see some young specimens at the outdoor nursery where orphans are trained to
live in the wild The proboscis monkeys are way easier to approach in the sanctuary that the palm oil company has kept for them they are used to walk
around visitors some silver monkeys are also there We are all really tired all these tourists walking around and decided to take a nap another threatened species
endemic of Borneo is the Sun Bear a small animal victim of its cuteness: in
some Asian countries they are captured and kept as pets After taking a bus to Laha Datu, I meet the
guide from sticky rice and hop to Danum Valley Once there the adventure starts every day my guide Mac and I take long walks in the forest to spot some wildlife Really soon i’m remembered why it’s called rainforest It rains, a lot when
you least expect it And when it rains it’s really hard to move around the soil
smugly leeches come out from every plant and you have to avoid the bites of ants
and falling branches we are able to spot some red leaf monkey and some gibbon,
but are no lucky enough to see orangutans a group of elephants crossed
the river and the forest a week ago and most of wildlife got scared and ran away. Borneo rainforests it’s home to hundreds of species there are endemic and unique
of this place so this environment disappears, all these pieces will be gone
and lost forever The most mystical experience you can
have here is probably hearing the sounds of the rainforest during the night and
early in the morning. It is surreal. If you’re lucky enough, you can see some
small nocturnal animals like civets, mousedeers, Westerners tarsiers. The second best thing here is probably
going up the mountain a look at the sunrise slowly waking up the misty
forest It is beautiful I leave keeping this image in my mind and
hoping that in the future humankind will be responsible enough to preserve these
spectacular forms of life on our planet If places like Danum Valley bod well for
the future, in other spots in indonesia it is becoming more and more urgent to
regulate expansion of palm oil plantations to stop the extinction of endemic species. We as Humans should lean back for a second and realize that there
are more vital things than money and most importantly that this planet
doesn’t belong all to us

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