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 Post subject: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Borneo
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 6:39 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Yep. No kidding. Approximately two hundred pounds of alpha-male Pongo pygmaeus, plus (maybe) his concubine and (maybe) his child. This was hands-down the fiercest emotional carpet bombing the local wildlife has provided us so far, even more intense than the 16-foot python we found last year. (Read: I almost shat myself )
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And here's a token herp photo, to stay on topic :-)
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(Striped Bronzeback, Dendrelaphis caudolineatus)

(All photos by Mr. Marcus Kloft)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 10:39 am 
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That's pretty awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 11:36 am 
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Yeah thats really amazing, i'm sure I speak for a lot of people on here when I say I'm insanely jealous.
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(Read: I almost shat myself )
Loss of bowel control is completely acceptable under the circumstances.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 12:23 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:06 am
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Magnificent. :thumb:

And I agree - primates are far more terrifying than any krait or cobra.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 12:34 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Magnificent. :thumb:

And I agree - primates are far more terrifying than any krait or cobra.


Yup. I would be afraid of losing a few functions if I came across primates in the wild.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 12:41 pm 
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I would say that's a once in a lifetime sighting, but living in Borneo I suppose makes it somewhat more common?


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 5:34 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:25 am
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That is pretty awesome. The band Orang Utan was pretty good too :lol: :crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 5:51 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
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I would say that's a once in a lifetime sighting, but living in Borneo I suppose makes it somewhat more common?

Actually, it's possibly a repeatable sighting. This happened in Semenggoh, a 740-hectare forest reserve 20 minutes from Kuching that contains an orang-utan rehabilitation center. The 20-odd apes there are either poaching victims (mom shot, baby survived), or were removed from properties where they were kept as pets. The staff tries their best to prepare them for life in the wild, and if, after a few years, a specimen is fit for the jungle, it will be released in a larger national park. The free-roaming orangs are fed twice a day on special feeding platforms in the forest, but mostly they keep to themselves in the surrounding jungle.

For all intents and purposes, these are wild animals, and large posters showing gruesome bite wounds in Technicolor abound in the reserve. "If you meet an orang-utan, do not go closer than 5 meters (yards)" etc. The photos above were shot with a 500mm lens - my buddy Marcus, on his second visit in Kuching, kept at least twice the recommended distance while shooting, and I was waiting in the car, nervously revving the engine, ready to lay rubber and take a bloodied and mangled Marcus to the closest ER. The big male shown above is called Ritchie, I believe he's about 20-odd years old, and he's the biggest of the bunch. We met him on the access road to the center, two hundred yards away from the main highway. The reserve is not fenced in, but the orangs have enough common sense and bad experiences with humans not to leave the forest.

On the one hand I realized that what we had "roadcruised" here were immensely intelligent beings, and part of me really wished to interact with them on that level. On the other hand, the more intelligent an animal is, the less predictable it becomes (one reason why I like to work with snakes :-)). So here was Ritchie, at first hiding beneath a roadside tree, clearly afraid of the car, then of Marcus who got out to take photos. As magic as the moment was, neither Marcus nor I entertained any notions about testing how far we could "interact" with Ritchie before he got scared/irritated/teed off enough to open the Gates of Hell. Not only do these animals sport muscle fibers that AFAIK are four to five times stronger than their human equivalent (they can hang from a branch for hours, on one arm), but their dentures, if only evolved to open hard-shelled jungle fruit and get to soft tree bark layers, are nothing short of formidable. Here are the chompers of another male we found in another wildlife center last year, catching raindrops (seriously):
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'Nuff said :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 8:03 pm 
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Joined: February 6th, 2011, 9:09 pm
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Location: Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Wouw, who needs herps??


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 8:43 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Me, to calm down after all the excitement :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 8th, 2012, 9:35 pm 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Me, to calm down after all the excitement :-)

Haha. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 12:14 am 
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I can't stand Animals which are accustomed to humans, especially Monkeys and Macaques. Not sure what to think of Orang Utans though, although I would guess they would, by what I've heard in this post and previously, be as annoying as Macaques.
But that's just me and I'm sure I could be proven wrong


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 12:49 am 
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Fantastic stuff.

I wish I was back in Borneo...


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 1:45 am 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Ruxs wrote:
I can't stand Animals which are accustomed to humans, especially Monkeys and Macaques. Not sure what to think of Orang Utans though, although I would guess they would, by what I've heard in this post and previously, be as annoying as Macaques.
But that's just me and I'm sure I could be proven wrong

No worries, you're wrong on all counts :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 3:08 am 
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Ruxs wrote:
I can't stand Animals which are accustomed to humans, especially Monkeys and Macaques. Not sure what to think of Orang Utans though, although I would guess they would, by what I've heard in this post and previously, be as annoying as Macaques.
But that's just me and I'm sure I could be proven wrong

I enjoy seeing foolish tourists attacked by them in the park when I practise martial arts. They feed them and have a large bag of treats in their other hand. Then they get ambushed by macaques. Makes my day. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 3:33 am 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Ruxs wrote:
I can't stand Animals which are accustomed to humans, especially Monkeys and Macaques. Not sure what to think of Orang Utans though, although I would guess they would, by what I've heard in this post and previously, be as annoying as Macaques.
But that's just me and I'm sure I could be proven wrong

No worries, you're wrong on all counts :-)


I reckon being attacked for snacks at our local national park beach and being snarled and jumped at on jungle walks has left me jaded. I'm sure Orang Utans are amazing. And that picture of the one crossing the road makes me laugh :)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 3:35 am 
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MaartenSFS wrote:
Ruxs wrote:
I can't stand Animals which are accustomed to humans, especially Monkeys and Macaques. Not sure what to think of Orang Utans though, although I would guess they would, by what I've heard in this post and previously, be as annoying as Macaques.
But that's just me and I'm sure I could be proven wrong

I enjoy seeing foolish tourists attacked by them in the park when I practise martial arts. They feed them and have a large bag of treats in their other hand. Then they get ambushed by macaques. Makes my day. :D


The thing that gets me is that they carry rabies :?
It's not even feeding that gets them going down here in Trang, Thailand. You go to the beach with a bag of crisps (unopened) and you'll have a massive male pretty much climbing on you.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 4:04 am 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Same goes for the Long-tailed Macaques here in Bako NP. Cheeky bastards. But from all I've heard, orangs are different. To start with, they're not monkeys, they're apes. Whole different ballgame. They can also afford to have a very gentle disposition, as they're not social animals that are forced to fight their gang members over every single potato chip. And lastly, while orang-utans do steal (food and drinks, even concealed, are strictly verboten in Semenggoh), they don't have to revert to the hectic antics of a malnourished speed freak mugging you at knifepoint in a dark alley, looking over his shoulder every two seconds. Orang-utans are above that. They coolly walk up to you, take what they want, and mosey off into the sunset, munching on your Twinkies with a sly grin on their faces. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 10:45 pm 
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Location: Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Same goes for the Long-tailed Macaques here in Bako NP. Cheeky bastards. But from all I've heard, orangs are different. To start with, they're not monkeys, they're apes. Whole different ballgame. They can also afford to have a very gentle disposition, as they're not social animals that are forced to fight their gang members over every single potato chip. And lastly, while orang-utans do steal (food and drinks, even concealed, are strictly verboten in Semenggoh), they don't have to revert to the hectic antics of a malnourished speed freak mugging you at knifepoint in a dark alley, looking over his shoulder every two seconds. Orang-utans are above that. They coolly walk up to you, take what they want, and mosey off into the sunset, munching on your Twinkies with a sly grin on their faces. :-)

Sounds like they are the gentlemen/women of the forest. ;)

Since I walk around without food everywhere, I like them. As I'm struggling with a tough training regimen I always chuckle When Monkeys Attack". If I were a monkey with little natural habitat left I'd rampage as well. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 11th, 2012, 6:01 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:17 am
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I hate long-tailed macaques.... they don't have to have been fed by people to be a pain in the ass... they can suddenly just flip out on you for no good reason at all (e.g. you walk past them and suddenly the whole group charges you - personal experience)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #58: The things you roadcruise in Born
PostPosted: November 12th, 2012, 11:21 am 
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:thumb:


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