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Jeremy and I just got back from the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation centre, about 10kms outside of Kuching. It’s a place where they help rescued orangutans reintegrated into the wild. It’s a very large forest preserve with 22 orangutans living wild, 10 of whom have been born in the centre. We arrived before 9 and with a gaggle of other folks stood in a viewing area in the forest overlooking a feeding platform about 100m away where a warden was calling the orangutans by name to come and eat a bucket of fruit. We stood for 1/2 hour enjoying the beautiful empty forest before we heard that there was an orangutan out near the car park, so we all trooped out and watched this stunning fellow emerge from the trees. He was a male named Ritchie with huge cheeks (dominant males get them), long reddish orange hair, enormous hands, and feet like hands, with opposable toes. He was about 100kgs and lovely. He ambled across a small river and up onto a feeding platform where he devoured a pile of papayas and bananas, then climbed up a tree holding a coconut with his foot (!), which he crunched into and enjoyed.

His name is Ritchie.


Written by sockeyed

November 17, 2006 at 20:59

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