Rabu, 20 Juni 2012
Tanjung Puting: Tanjung Harapan
Here you can see a female orangutan with her child, up in the trees. They are agile climbers. They are also strong! It is said that a female orangutan is as strong as four grown men. A male orangutan is about as strong as eight grown men. The king of orangutan (orangutans have kings. One king rules a relatively small area.) is of course much stronger than that. One ranger told me that it took about 20-ish men to subdue a king of orangutan when he needed treatment for his wounds.
We were so lucky, the guides told us, since the kings of orangutans were not always seen by visitors. The feeding site is filled daily, but this is not a staple diet for them. Sometimes aside of bananas, they will give orangutans milk. When the trees are yielding fruit, however, only few orangutans can be spotted since they prefer to eat elsewhere.
Bear these in mind when observing orangutans in the wild:
- STAY QUIET.
- DO NOT LITTER. Bring your own garbage with you.
- DO NOT EAT OR DRINK IN FRONT OF THEM. They might be tempted to grab them from you and this might cause health problems for them.
- DO NOT FEED THE ORANGUTANS! They are not pets, here they are expected to be self-sufficient and to be able to survive in the wilderness.
-IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY AWAY FROM THEM. They might be infected!
During our trek to our kelotok boat, one guide showed me a small tree called ramunting (?). He said orangutans loved to eat it. Edible for humans too, since the guide has tried it many times. He picked one for me and I tasted it. It's like guava, albeit a bit bitter.
I saw Muslim cemeteries on the trek to our boat, and the guide explained that originally the site was inhabited by Melayu people. They were given lands elsewhere some time in the 1970s, so that Tanjung Harapan could be a haven for the orangutans. (to be continued)