Certainly an experience I will never forget and which relatively few others will experience, a truly wild experience."/>
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Pongo pygmaeus


So there we were (my wife and I) trekking along this jungle track in Sepilok when we caught up with the marching crowd who had been stopped - by an Orangutan! It was sitting in the track blocking progress and would not let anyone pass.After a while it moved off slowly along the track a few metres, then stopped again. This process continued for at least 20 minutes (from camera clock) during which time a couple coming the other way also got stopped. By this time we were calling it our tour guide. The Orangutan then started to climb saplings until they bent over under its weight and weaved them together effectively blocking the path. This actually made it easier to get around which we started to do whereupon the Orangutan made a grab for one of the girls handbag. She managed to grab it back and run past whereupon it grabbed at her skirt but again she managed to pull free, after some screaming at which point it ran off into the undergrowth a short distance and we all passed.
Last 2 photos: On our return some 35 minutes later we again met it coming our way so stepped aside to let it pass which it did, but not before stretching out a metre long arm and grabbing my wife's leg. She managed to pull free and ran towards the village while the Orangutan backed away from me when I pointed the camera towards it, though it continued to follow us some 25 metres behind, stopping and trying to hide every time I raised the camera.
The track was quite hilly in places and it was interesting to note that the Orangutan would roll itself into a ball and try to roll downhill, though often ended up entangled in bushes. My impression from its actions was that it was probably raised in the rehab centre and later released and being young it really only wanted to play.
I have referred to it as "it" throughout as I have no idea whether it was a male or female, though some of you may know straight away from features other than the obvious.
Certainly an experience I will never forget and which relatively few others will experience, a truly wild experience.


Equatorial lowland rainforest.


The full set of pictures can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=...

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triggsturner 8 years ago

Great story Malcolm. I had a similar experience in Indonesian Borneo but with a big, rather grumpy male who had a fascination for water bottles. You got to love these guys. Thanks for sharing your experience and images.

Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar 8 years ago

Beautiful spotting!

Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

Spotted on Mar 12, 2016
Submitted on May 28, 2016

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