Hanging with the Orangs

It’s not everyday you get to see an endangered species in its natural habitat. So the opportunity to visit an orangutan sanctuary was too good to miss.

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The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre aims to return orphaned or injured orangutans back to the wild. Orangutans only exist on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra and are at risk because they’re losing their habitat to palm oil plantations.

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Looking at them, it’s amazing how human-like they are. In fact, genetically we’re about 97% the same and like us they are quite intelligent too – often using tools and objects in creative ways (like drawing and using leaves for umbrellas).

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It’s sad to think that if the current rates of deforestation continue, it will be game over for the orangutan within my lifetime. It’s only centres like the one at Sepilok that give them a chance of survival.

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At the end of the day we’re all apemen, we should look after them a bit more… I feel lucky to have seen them.
______

Ps. Maybe that’s what Ray Davies was getting at with this old Kinks tune (another one for the playlist)

Kinks: Apeman (1970)

I think I’m sophisticated ‘cos I’m living my life like a good homosapien,
But all around me everybody’s multiplying and they’re walking round like flies, man,
So I’m no better than the animals sitting in their cages in the zoo, man,
‘Cos compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees I am an apeman.
I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilized ‘cos I’m a strict vegetarian,
But with the over-population and inflation and starvation and the crazy politicians,
I don’t feel safe in this world no more,
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war,
I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an ape man.
I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman,
Oh, I’m an apeman,
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man, oh I’m an apeman.
‘Cos compared to the sun that sits in the sky,
Compared to the clouds as they roll by,
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies,
I am an apeman.

In man’s evolution he has created the city and
The motor traffic rumble, but give me half a chance
And I’d be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle.
‘Cos the only time that I feel at ease,
Is swinging up and down in a coconut tree,
Oh, what a life of luxury, to be like an apeman.
I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, Oh, I’m an apeman,
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man,
I am an ape man.
I look out the window, but I can’t see the sky,
‘Cos the air pollution is fogging up my eyes,
I want to get out of this city alive,
And make like an ape man.

Come and love me, be my apeman girl,
And we’d be so happy in my apeman world.
I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, Oh, I’m an apeman,
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man, Oh, I’m an apeman.
I’ll be your Tarzan, you’ll be my Jane,
I’ll keep you warm and you’ll keep me sane,
And we’ll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day,
Just like an apeman.

I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, Oh, I’m an apeman,
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man, Oh, I’m an ape man.
I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
And make like an apeman.

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