Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Back from Baco
Just got back from my last wildlife adventure (on this trip). Jodi and I went to Bako National Park for a night. It's a bit run down--the cabins were definitely rustic, but they did have a fan. It was still a sweat-fest, though, as most things are in Borneo.
It's worth it to rough it, though, because the wildlife is up close and personal, especially the macaque monkeys. They get aggressive around the cafeteria and if you stop paying attention, they'll snatch your food. And believe me, they're fast. There were six people sitting at a table in the middle of the porch, and one monkey sneaked up, jumped on a table, and grabbed a cookie out of a package before the people even knew he was there.
Another one kept jumping up on the railing behind my head and trying for one of my chips. I had to hunker down over the bag to keep him from grabbing everything I had.
It also must have been their equivalent of spring because there were babies babies everywhere. It seemed all the females were carrying newborns--and I mean young. If I got too close (which, of course, I did many times--it's ME, after all), the mothers would bare their sharp little canines at me so I'd back away. But I still managed to get one good shot of this brave little guy that got away from his mother for awhile.
Besides the macaques, the park has proboscis monkeys--those shy and bizarre monkeys that have the big noses. They hang out in the upper branches most of the time, but they move as a group, so if you see one jumping from tree to tree, you're bound to see lots more.
I made this film on Wednesday night. You can't see their beautiful gold color (except sort of in the 2nd tree), but their flight from tree to tree was too stunning not to show you. These are rare monkeys, folks, and you don't find them at your average zoo. The male leader makes this sort of honking sound through his enormous nose to communicate with his troop. Weird and wonderful.
And this morning, I finally saw the deadly but beautiful pit viper, which was hanging around a park sign. After all of us took pictures, the park ranger moved the snake to a more remote location. I'm really glad I saw it--and I know my friend Amy is really glad she had already gone home when I did.
Look for one more blog--probably on Saturday.