Malaysia: Orang-utans and Rafflesia

Semenggoh Nature Reserve was the first stop this morning. The reserve opens for two sessions a day so that people can watch some of the forest residents come in for a feed.  It’s not news that these animals are endangered. And it’s not surprising, given the amount of old forest land that is now cultivated with palm oil trees.  Orangu-tans and palm oil do not mix.

Palm oil trees

We drove out to Gunung Gading National Park, on the off-chance that the parasitic Rafflesia Tuan-Mudae was still showing off its large flower on the floor of the forest. The helpful Ranger said we were about 3 days late for the flower’s peak condition, but he gave us directions to find one specimen that was still holding on, before it fully deteriorated. They flower for 4-5 days. We were there on Day 8 and fortunate to catch it in this state.

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