September 20th, 2007 – by: sissanoel
Macaque mother and baby at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - they may be interlopers, but they are cute.
Had to get up early this morning to catch the 6.30am boat back to Libaran Island for breakfast - now here was a breakfast, the Malaysian equivalent of the full cooked English! After adequately indulging, we hopped on a newer, faster boat back to the mainland as one of the motors on our original boat packed it in halfway between Selingan
and Libaran Islands. Once back on the bus, we were driven to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where terrific efforts are being made to rescue abandoned and/or captured orangutans and helping them become wild again. We watched a video first, explaining the work of the centre, and then followed quite a long boardwalk into the forest to watch the feeding at 10am.
Ranger feeding the orangutans, Sepilok.
There were already quite a few small orangutans at the platform when we arrived, along with a host of macaques who are known at the centre as "uninvited guests". It's not surprising they stay, however, as the ranger seemed to give them more food than the orangutans got! Two extremely precious babies came in to the platform together, apparently two boys of about 3 years old each. From the moment they appeared til they left, they did not let go of each other, holding each other in a big cuddle. It was so sweet - they're just so human in their mannerisms and behaviour.
After being dropped back at the Sandakan Hotel we had a wander around the Central Market, which is three stories of food and clothes and then walked back along the waterfront, past the naval base, to the hawkers market. Food of just about any variety could be bought - we tried a couple of the local soft drinks and bought a few snacks for our trip tomorrow. We've discovered that one of the little cafes near our hostel sells "coconut crush", which seems to be coconut milk mixed with ice and all crushed together with the flesh - absolutely delicious, might end up having a few of those before we leave.