For those of you who followed our blogs on facebook – we hope you enjoyed reading about our trip and keeping up to date with the stories!
Over the two weeks, alongside HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme, Ropeskills Rigging Sdn Bhd, Danau Girang Field Centre and the Sabah Wildlife Department, we took down three old bridges which needed to be replaced and put up a total of SEVEN new bridges - a fantastic achievement for the whole team. It wasn’t easy work – we were up and out at 6:30 am to get started and it was already hot and humid at this time. The cruise down the river to the field site was a welcome escape from the heat! It got up to 35oC and around 90% humidity – meaning no matter what you did, you just couldn’t stay dry! By early afternoon, the heavy rains would start. If you weren’t already wet from the sweat, you were soaked after 10 seconds in that rain. And we were only working there for two weeks… the HUTAN-KOCP team work in these conditions throughout the year, dealing with mosquitoes, leeches the midday burning sun and the heavy rains.
Our eyes were certainly opened to the fantastic work carried out by HUTAN-KOCP and the amazing wildlife of Sabah. It was a journey which we were all so privileged to be a part of. We all have our fingers crossed that orangutans will be seen using these bridges very soon.
For me, the overriding memory of the trip was completing the final day’s work where two bridges were completed. The bridges connected an area where 4 orangutans are known to be trapped between the plantations and the river. When we arrived, we spotted an orangutan nest straight away, so completing those was a huge achievement.
Read what the rest of my teammates say about their best and worst memories of the trip…
Andy Lenihan: The best thing about the trip has to be getting muddy. And the worst thing…getting clean!
Nick Davis: The most memorable moment would be finally getting to the top of the first tree, after some effort, and looking out at the top of the rain forest canopy (all safely roped up of course!). Hardest part was putting up with that pesky cockerel which had a habit of crowing at 3 in the morning….
Anna Furse: My most memorable moment was watching the wild orangutans from our boat, which highlighted all the reasons why we were there. And the hardest part.. dealing with those horrid mosquito bites!
Mark Wylie: Putting up with the huge amounts of ants in our rooms which were all over our beds wasn’t a great experience! I can’t choose a best moment as the whole trip was fantastic!
Andy Adderton: The highlight for me was travelling to work in the sunshine via boat and surrounded by wildlife every morning
Andy Greenhalgh: The best part of the trip was seeing the orangutans in the wild and knowing we had just put bridges up to help them. The most difficult part was putting up with all the rice!
Thanks to HUTAN - Eddie Ahmad for the photos.