Friday, June 7, 2013

Bukit Lawang: Orangutan Feeding in Gunung Leuser Park

In addition to our fun jungle trek, we had another opportunity to check out the orangutans of Bukit Lawang.  The national park still provides twice daily supplementary feedings for the rehabilitated/reintroduced orangutan population.  Feedings are done at a wooden platform that is a 15 minute hike (straight up, I might add) from the ranger station.  To get to the ranger station you have to take this rubber boat across the river:

This monkey looked like he either wanted to join us or sabotage our river crossing by messing with the wire the boatmen used to drag us across:

You can see the monkey again, just above Steve and Colleen in this shot.... the photo next to it is us waiting for the park rangers to get themselves organized to head out to the feeding.  Jam karet, indeed (jam karet = an Indonesian phrase meaning "rubber time," referring to the flexibility of deadlines, schedules, etc. in Indonesia):

On our short hike to the feeding platform, we encountered one of the orangutans we had seen on our trek, Suma, and her baby, just hanging out:

When we got to the feeding platform, things were a little slow to pick up.  This park ranger spent about 40 minutes alternating between banging this rock on the platform to sound the dinner bell and scanning the tree tops for incoming orangutans:

Finally an orangutan decided to take advantage of the free meal, bringing her baby with her.  This is Sepi, which means "quiet," and her baby Casa (or maybe it's Kasa?).  She slowly approached via the treetops, giving us the hairy eyeball as she descended:


Both mom and baby were digging the green bananas, it seems:

When I uploaded my photos to Picasa, it automatically made me this awesome GIF below.  Love it!:

Aaaaand, feeding time is over:


  1. No.1 Lesson Learned in Bukit Lawang: Always wear your hiking shoes. Even if you are just going to dinner. It might turn into a torrential downpour. Or if you are just going to an Orangutan feeding, it might be an epic climb.
    Steve and I thought you were just getting into the Gif/Meme business with that file, we were so impressed!

    1. I wish I was wise in the ways of the GIF, but this was purely accidental on my part. Somehow Picasa magically, and to my delight, combined my photos into the GIF.


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