Who's the man of the jungle


On that day, temperatures rose high at the Borneo’s Orang Utan Sanctuary...

After observing the last scheduled feeding of these creatures the thirst for more precious sights of Orang Utans led us to camouflage in the “Bird’s” trail, right into the arms of Sepilok jungle.

A cool breeze welcomed us right away by blowing the sweat out of our bodies.
However much too soon we were to be forced to abort the promising trek having behind this cruel decision tick mud that threatened to swallow our feet at each step, and leeches, verily obstinate ones! The promising "expedition" was destined for failure!

On our way back we encountered a group of four other defeated explorers. Together, in an organized line, with over-sized senses, we progressed, slowly, along fragile boardwalks, partially conquered by Mother Nature, them too, threatening to abort mission at any moment!

Shortly after, our number came to enlarge. A group of long tail macaques had just decided to approach: Small, hairy, funny and curious, as much as we were!
The rare nature of the involvement made the picture frenzy intense: the important line for both respect and survival had vanished! A muscled macaque with exquisite beard captivated the looks of both humans and present monkeys. He was the star!

The chain of unpredictable events was about to reach its height. What was then about to happen couldn’t be lived by the weakened cosmopolitan creatures without serious drops of adrenaline rushing through their bodies…
The fatal shot came from a far too close camera, either being excitement or naivety, thinking that the lack of reserve wouldn’t take its toll was wrong!
A ferocious jump followed by a strong arm tearing the distance! The star was furious!

Our shelter came to be a corner that lay shy, out of the sight of the now wild animals… Some of us elaborated escape plans hurriedly which were then spit out by trembling lips whilst others, convinced of sighting leeches on their trousers, undressed, examined and dressed right back again...

We needed to pass through the macaques in order to reach the exit.And the bravest in the group attempted the move...Walking slowly with heads down as in humbleness, as in asking mutely to be allowed to. But the insulted leader wasn’t ready to forgive the intruders!
The only thing we managed to pass through was time...

Six strangers tied up by a small space and a gigantic wish to be found.

Our faith had been sealed if it weren’t for a repetitive process reaching a one in a life time situation... And that happened when the maintenance crew passed by for their regular checks...

When exiting Sepilok Sanctuary one could read the following heading at the exhibition center: “Orang Utan, the Man of the jungle” yet, for us,... there will always be room for discussion.



L Barreto



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