"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
January 10th, 2013
It was early in the afternoon when we all piled into our car and got ready to drive out. We were off to see the monkeys of Borneo in Semenggoh National Park. I was excited. It took us an hour to get there because we kept getting lost. The roads are horrible in this country and the signs don’t help at all. But that is another story for another time.
When we finally got there and Dad had our tickets, we drove to the parking lot and got out. A park ranger had informed us to hurry up because there was a mother and baby orangutan right in sight. We got down to where the ranger sent us not a moment to soon. The orange coat of the mother and baby were blazing out. They had fruit in their hands and were pounding coconuts on the floor. One of the rangers told us that the monkeys only come down to feed from them at this time of year if they are sick, or can’t find food. We watched as the mother made a grunting sound to the baby who in turn clambered onto the back of the mother. They walked with swaying motions up the path where they stopped and looked back at us before disappearing into the jungle. We saw them climb up the side of a tree and then start swinging along through the jungle. We rushed after them and got a few more photos. Then they were gone. Vanished into the jungle like phantoms.
We walked back to the main area and looked at some alligators that were there before starting our way back up to the car parking area. There were people all walking the same way quickly and talking about something. A ranger walked towards us and told us that there were more monkeys over the hill. Getting into our car we drove slowly after all the other cars to where there was a bend in the road. A ranger told us to park by the side of the road and to walk down a little concrete path. We did and when we got to the bottom we looked up in the trees. It did not take long to pick them out. The tree was shaking as the monkeys ate the fruit off the branches. A man who looked like he worked there brought a bottle to the foot of the trees where the monkeys were. The mother climbed to the last branch on the tree and leaned down and picked up the bottle. It was milk I think because it was white. The monkey opened the bottle and took a drink then gave it to the baby. In this way they drank the whole bottle then tossed it down to the ranger below. They took more fruit and then swung off into the jungle.
I think that if anyone gets the chance that they should go to see the orang utans. They are a mixture of power and grace. Although they look like barrels with arms and legs they are still graceful. More graceful in the trees then humans ever will be.