There is always something disconcerting about taking off your wet boots at the end of a day and having a big, fat leech drop out. The one that rolled out of my right sock yesterday, on my way to the new orangutan release site, was almost the size of my little finger. The one that was stuck to the inside of my calf (which I found later in the shower) was still filling up. That’s what you get walking through swamps in Borneo! Leeches don’t horrify my, the buzzing of mosquitoes and their annoying, itchy bites are, I think, worse. Anyway, the purpose of this blog wasn’t meant to describe the various blood-sucking invertebrates we encounter. Rather it was to tell you of yesterday’s trip to Camp Mangkung in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, our newest orangutan release site which was being built by our volunteer teams. The good news is the camp is just about finished. The volunteers have done another great job.
Photos showing the almost finished release site (and some fine artwork) at Camp Mangkung in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.
Despite madly fluctuating water levels and pretty rudimentary construction skills the dining hall and sleeping accommodation are complete. All that still needs to be done is to build the toilet and wash rooms and then tidy the site.
We walked into the surrounding forest to scout potential feeding sites. Hanging the tyres won’t be a problem! Which reminds me to say thank you to everyone who has donated so far and to Brigitta, for your latest $20 donation; we already have enough for putting tyres up at Camps JL and Rasak. If you can continue to help us we will soon have enough for the remaining camps.
At the end of the day, rather than go back via the river, Dan Ward (volunteer coordinator) and I decided to walked out. I wanted to see what access would be like when the river is low. It was a great walk, except for the fact I did not find the leeches until I got home!