06 October 2011

Welcome to Sukau!...BORNEO (4 Oct)

Well after our morning with the Bristleheads of Sepilok we were ecstatic, but geared up for some mammals and birds along the banks of the Kinabatangan River. A known hangout for some very exciting rainforest birds, and an enticing mix of animals too. Shortly after our arrival at our fancy lodge on the banks of this mighty river, the word came through that a horde of Bornean Pygmy Elephants had been sighted down river. The chase was on. Plans were changed and our boat was soon pointed towards the promise of these tiny elephants that are unique to the lowland jungles of Borneo. On arrival at the scene we found some already arrived tourists looking forlorn, and were greeted with elephant-less banks. Another word went round that they had headed towards a tributary just off the main river so we spun the boat around and tried to keep our spirits up and our eyes open for some large grey shapes! We had only been motoring for five minutes when a number of nearby boatman gestured something that was hard to figure to our foreign eyes, although the fact that our guide had stepped the boat up a gear and we were charging forward told us all we need to know. The elephants had homed into view once more. The excitement was palpable, and then just minutes later a large group of some 20 or so Bornean Pygmy Elephants fed on the banks, ripping up large tussocks of grass, flapping their large ears, and waving their substantial trucks around. We were just metres away, with the animals appearing super tolerant as one boat after another got word, and arrived expectantly at the scene. However, they were only calm as we were all in our boats, had one of us stepped ashore the scene could have changed in an instant. Thankfully no one was that stupid!

A life mammal, and one I had yearned for, for many years and many visits to the lowlands of Borneo.
More on the way from this mammal extravaganza!

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