Time to eat!
When going up the Sekonyer river to Camp Leakey you pass several feeding stations where the semi-wild orangutans are fed twice daily. Once the large and dominant males like Doyak, who eat first, leave the feeding station the other orangutans, pigs, squirrels, and gibbons move in for their feast. They are not afraid of you and offer some great photographic opportunities.
The guides start calling the orangutans as the rangers bring in the food
This is Doyak showing who is the boss and taking his time while the others wait. Click on his photos to see more of him
The other orangs patiently wait in the trees until he leaves
Then its their turn!
They have various styles on how they obtain and eat their food
They stuff their mouths with bananas and eat them in the trees
Gibbons commonly make an appearance at the feeding station. Their phenomenal speed as they swing through the trees, jump on the feeding platform, and then escape back to the trees, tests the skills of any wildlife photographer.
They hang in the trees waiting for just the right time
You never know when they are going to jump from the trees onto the feeding platform, so your next shot is of them already eating on the feeding platform
Once they give you the stink eye you know they will be off any second, so now is your big chance.
Within the next 1-2 seconds they have run to the end of the platform and are landing in a nearby tree
These two short movies gives you a feel for how fast a gibbon can move through the trees. This method of locomotion is called brachiation, and the gibbon does it the best of all the primates.
In this first movie the gibbon is brachiating through the trees:
In this second movie it is jumping on to the feeding platform, scaring the orangutan for a second, ignoring the park ranger, and then jumping back into a tree and climbing it with one hand loaded with bananas. You can hear the guides calling the orangutans in the background.
Once the orangs are done feeding they are quite relaxed and let us approach them, including the females with young
When the coast is clear and everyone has gone the squirrels move in.
Click here to return to the Orangutans of Borneo home page.