I was at the Camp Leaky's feeding platform in the Tanjung Puting National Park for about an hour with about 20 other people, watching the female and baby orangutans. The crowds slowly left and my Dayak guide told me to hang around for a bit longer to see if Tom, the camp's alpha male, appeared. A sighting of this majestic primate is a rare and spectacular treat, so imagine my surprise when, about 10 minutes later, he came swinging through the treetops. We followed him (at a safe distance) for about 30 minutes as he slowly walked to the ranger camp where he treated me to a private photo shoot.
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Keeping to the rules
Nothing brings home the effect of human consumption on our natural world than some time spent with the rehabilitated orangutans in Borneo's Camp Leaky. Tom, Leaky's alpha male, paused for a rest during a long walk around the ranger camp and placed his hand on a sign that said, "Please take your litter with you".
This species of primate is only found on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and Tom is one of the hundreds of orangutans who live in the sanctuary of the Tanjung Puting National Park. Wild orangutan populations are in sharp decline due to forest clearing in order to make way for palm oil plantations.