ORANGUTAN SPOTTING IN THE WILD
Eco-Tour of a life time in Lahad Datu
When we first heard that there were orang utans in Lahad Datu besides the ones in Danum Valley and Tabin, we found it rather difficult to believe. Simply because even the locals have not heard of it! Bukit Piton is claimed to be the location where one could set out on an adventure in search for this almost extinct species – the Bornean Orang Utan.
Bukit Piton is situated at the Ulu Segama- Malua forest, which was once destroyed by fire and poor logging practices. However, through efforts by WWF – Malaysia, Yayasan Sime Darby, Sabah Forestry Department and the team spearheaded by Dr Teo from Tabin Lodge, this once degraded forest is being restored and nurtured with love – hence welcoming the orang utans and other wildlife back to their home bound.
In late 2016, Bike and Tours decided to check out Bukit Piton on a recce tour. True enough after an hour drive from Lahad Datu to Bukit Piton, just within minutes we encountered our very first Orang Utan. It was an amazing experience to see the orang utan in the wild. This beautiful creature noticed our presence and continued eating before gracefully swinging its way back in the depth of the jungle. We were lucky that over the next few hours to encounter another 2 orang utan in the wild. And that to us was the ultimate! Other visitors have seen more orang utans than us but of course when you are in the wild, lady luck plays a role. The wild is the wild and not a zoo where it is a guaranteed that you get to see the animals caged.
As we ventured further in into this Class 1 Forest Reserve, we learnt that even though forest restoration efforts are taking place, the badly damaged jungle is still falling short on food source for the Orang Utan and other wildlife. Support from visitors to contribute to tree planting and maintenance activities are highly encouraged. Find out more on how you could contribute to growth and maintenance of the jungle.