The second highlight of our Sandakan visit was the Orang Utans. We visited the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary to view free and wild Orang Utans feeding and playing in the wild.
Orang Utan mom in full swing, with baby clinging on for dear life.
Mother and child Orang Utan on a morning swinging exercise.
The Orang Utans are endangered apes that are currently found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. “Orang” means people in Malay while “hutan” means forest.
Guess who invented Yoga?
Orang Utans are therefore the “people of the forest”.
The Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary takes in orphaned Orang Utan babies and nurtures them until they are ready to be released into the wild.
There are now more than 250 Orang Utans in the Sepilok reserve.
We visited during feeding time at 10:30 in the morning and saw four of them at the feeding platform.
The ranger, Annie, told me that only a few days ago, there were seven at one go whereas on another day last week there were none during one of the mealtimes.
Four legs good, two legs better!
I feel it’s a good thing that the Orang Utans wean themselves from the feeding, because it means that they have become independent and are able to find their own food in the wild.
Tree-top canopy walk @ Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre
During the feeding, there was this dominant male that turned up 10 minutes prior to the appointed hour and plonked himself right on the feeding platform.
When the keeper came with the basket of fruits, he just sat there stuffing his face.
There was this mother and child Orang Utan that kind of skirted gingerly around the fellow, collected a handful of fruit and then retreated to another platform to eat the food.
The only bird we spotted. Taken handheld with an Olympus PEN E-P3 with 40-150mm lens. 300mm (35mm equiv), f/5.6, 1/200, ISO 320..
Only after both the keeper had left, and the dominant male had gotten his fill, did the mother and child amble over to pick among the scraps.
The whole viewing platform and food platforms were pretty well designed, so that visitors could get a clear view of the Orang Utans from about ten metres away.
The feeding times at the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary and Labuk Bay are very well spaced out so that visitors to Sandakan can visit both places in the same day, without even spending the night!
After Sepilok, we took a stroll around the Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre.
There was this canopy walkway for a tree-top walk.
The view was good and gave an idea of what it’s like to live at tree-top height.
Sandakan port in the evening. Taken with Olympus PEN E-P3, 12mm lens, Pop-Art effect, Frame filter.
In the evening, we visited the Puu Jih Syh Buddhist temple at the top of the hill overlooking Sandakan.
The sunset was beautiful and gave me ample opportunities to snap some nice pics with the Olympus PEN E-P3 that I‘d used to good effect throughout this holiday.
Golden sunset at Sandakan. Taken with Olympus PEN E-P3, 40-150mm lens @ 164mm (35mm equiv). f/10.0, 1/640sec, ISO 200.
This retro looking mirrorless interchangeable lens camera really grows on you with the fast focusing and sharp pictures that outshines other mirrorless cameras and rivals entry-level DSLRs.