An encounter with a not-so-friendly Orang Utan


When people asked about travel encounter usually one will opt to tell the wonderful time they had and the interesting thing they saw however I couldn't say the same thing about my own encounter.
We were climbing up the Serapi Mountain in Sarawak when the nightmare happened. We got lost several times during our hiking until at one point we reach a very steep terrain and it seems impossible in our mind that the authority will build such dangerous trail for the visitors to go through. Imagine 45 degree steep of train to go down to without anything to hold on to; nevertheless we still go down carefully while helping each other. When we arrived at the base of the terrain we were greet with a very narrow route alongside the terrain that we have to walk with our feet align. Suddenly the people at the front stop and the people at the back stuck in the middle of the route with cliff to stop ourselves from falling into. Apparently our guide finally realizes that we are on the wrong trail and decided to call the centre for direction. Five minutes later we were ordered to turn back and to climb back up the terrain.
But something caught our eyes as we turn back, there is something moving up on the trees not far away from us. With a closer look we saw that it was several Orang Utans carrying itsí child. We were all excited because that is the first time we saw Orang Utan with our own eyes and up close most of us were taking pictures as the distance was safe but then we realized that the Orang Utan is getting nearer and were eyeing us intensely. So we start to move quickly up the terrain when we saw that it move faster towards us. Unfortunately three of my friends could not make it in time when the Orang Utan finally caught up with us and they were stuck facing the Orang Utan. Thus, two of my male friends go back down to save the girls. One of them try to distract the Orang Utan by giving it a stick while my other friend try to help the girls from falling off the cliff by burying a stick for them to hold on to. But he did not realize that there is Orang Utan behind him ready to attack realizing that the stick given to it was not a food.
All hell breaks loose the Orang Utan bite on his legsÖ hard. Hearing a piercing scream coming from a friend is heart wrenching. He was screaming so loud out of pain and asking for help. My other friend tried to help him by nudging the Orang Utan off his friend but things got worse as the Orang Utan grabbed both of them and roll off down the cliff. Our friends scream got louder but gasps could be heard as they hit trees as they fell then everything went quiet. At this point we could no longer see them and all the worse thought came across our mind. Our lecturer shouts for them asking whether they are okay. Thank God one of them answered but he was straining to say that he is not okay and that brought tears to our eyes. We were worried about our other friend who didnít answer as our friend said he didnít know what happened to him because he fell further down the cliff. Our lecturer ordered the rest to keep walking as there are another two Orang Utans chasing after us while he and another friend stay to help our poor friend.
As we walks we were frightened by the sound of branches cracking on our right, we fear that it might have caught up with us. But as it getting closer it turns out that it was our friend who didnít respond just now he managed to run and climb up the hill on injured leg. We were all relief and fuss over him. All of us walk back to our cottage helping our injured friends along the way. One of them suffered from minor injury in the leg from being scratch by the Orang Utan but our other friend are not so lucky. Deep cuts covered his whole legs but he still managed a smile and we all witnessed a true courage, friendship and value of life.

M Nadhirah

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