I just returned from a 5 day shoot in southern Borneo. I visited Tanjung Harapan National Park in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. I was there primarily to film Orangutans, but also had some nice Proboscis Monkey action as well as beautiful jungle and river scenics. Tanjung Harapan used to be one of the places that displaced Orangutans were re-released into the wild. Its a huge park, 4000 square kilometers (over 1500 square miles), and has a very health population of wild Orangutans so the don't release any more animals here. There is still some interaction with some of the Orangutans at the former "Feeding Station" platforms near each of the three research camps. Once a day the N.P. Rangers put a small quantity of Bananas (or other seasonal fruit) on the platform as a snack for some of the Orangutans in the area. Sometimes they also put out a couple pans of milk for the benefit of mothers with little babies. Its also possible to see the bizarre Proboscis Monkeys along the river edges in the late afternoon.

For those who don't know, Orangutans get their name from two words in the Indonesian (and Malay) language. The first part, Orang, means "Person". The second part, Utan, means "Jungle. So the name means Person of the Jungle. A very fitting name indeed.

I've spent quite a lot of time in other parts of Borneo including 4.5 years in Sabah and 1 year in East Kalimantan, but this was my first time to the southern region and it really blew me away. The jungle and rivers are beautiful, and there were far more Orangutans than I was expecting to see based on my experience in other regions. There were many mothers with babies, and the real treat was seeing several mature males with their distinctive "cheek pads". Please support the good conservation work that is taking place in both Borneo and Sumatra to preserve habitat for these magnificent animals.

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