The orangutans of Borneo are under pressure, mainly because their forest is being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations. If ever there was a reminder that you can commit harm from your office desk with an innocent-seeming Kit Kat it’s the sight of beautiful, human-adjacent creatures like these.
Near Kuching, the Semenggok Sanctuary is an area of protected rainforest that offers semi-wild orangutans a safe home and back-up when food is scarce. As it’s not currently fruiting season, the sanctuary is putting some out at 9am and we should get a sighting.
There are easily a hundred people here. When we visited Sepilok there were barely twenty. Despite the usual couple of idiots, though, we were surprisingly quiet for such a large group of humans.
Before we had even made it to the feeding area, a grandmother in her forties and her grandson aged nine, had already turned up. Luckily, most of the group then headed to the official viewing platform, leaving about a dozen of us to stare in awe as the pair set to cracking open the coconuts they’d secured.
It was magical. Don’t buy bloody palm oil.