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Borneo Wildlife

I thought you’d like to see some of the animals I saw on my trip to Malaysian Borneo last month! As this is a craft (and wildlife) blog, I’m keeping this post to just my wildlife photos, but, if you’re interested in knowing more about my trip, I’ve written it up separately as a travel journal with lots more pics: A Bornean Adventure.

We were privileged to get to watch these two rescued orphan orangutan babies in training. Once they’re old enough and have learned how to survive in the wild, they’ll be released back into the forest. (I’ve written more about the orangutan rescue and rehabilitation in my travel journal.)

orangutan1 orangutan2 orangutan3orangutan4

But, although this would have been enough, we saw far more than just orangutans…

While we were at the wildlife centre, we also saw this 3m-long estuarine crocodile – thankfully, in a cage! He’s too dangerous to be released back into the wild, so he’s kept at the centre for educational purposes.


While Dave was at his conference during the week, I wandered around Kuching city and looked for more common, everyday wildlife. I found Barred Ground Doves:


Spotted-necked Doves:


Mynah birds:



Yellow-vented Bulbul:


Swallows (they kept swooping past my hotel window – we were on the 8th floor – but this one perched on the windowsill for a moment and I managed to grab this photo!)


A cute black-sided squirrel:


And lots of butterflies – despite endless patience, this is the only one I managed to capture with my camera (but isn’t it a lovely photo?)


On our last day, we went to Bako National Park to see some more tropical jungle wildlife, and we saw a real assortment!

We were lucky enough to spot a batchelor group of proboscis monkeys – these are rare and found only in Borneo. Here’s an adult male with his pendulous nose:


And a younger male, without such a giant nose:


We also saw Bornean Bearded Pigs – not the cutest pigs on the planet, but cool to see. This is a mother:


And a couple of her babies:


We saw lots of crustaceans too. Here’s a big hermit crab:


Do you see all those little ‘L’ shapes in the sand? They are actually Fiddler crabs – hard to spot unless you know to look for them!


Here’s a close- up. They look strange because they only have one big white claw:


On the beach, we saw lots of these sand-ball formations. With careful watching, I managed to spot the source, although they’re almost completely invisible when they aren’t racing across the sand.


It’s a sand bubbler crab! Even at super zoom and perfect focus he’s still hard to spot – can you see him?


Mudskippers are, quite literally, fish out of water – a strange fish that looks part-frog, can walk with its fins on land, and can breathe through its skin (although only when it’s wet). I didn’t think I’d ever see one of these outside of a wildlife documentary…


Back in the jungle, we saw long-tailed macaques, grooming:


And look, it’s a little baby macaque!


Of course, we found the only venomous snake in the park: Wagler’s Pit Viper:


And here’s a smaller one (check my travel journal for my almost-scary story about these!):


A huge and intimidating mass of highly poisonous bees:


And actually, for me this was the most exciting of all, apart from the orangutans: an animal I didn’t know existed until I saw one! This is a ‘flying lemur’ (although it’s not an actual lemur); it’s also called a colugo. They are nocturnal, so spotting one during the daytime is pretty rare. She is clinging vertically onto the tree, facing the left – you can just see an eye at the top. And look – you can see the flying membrane (that lets them glide between trees) along her front leg!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my wildlife photos (a small selection culled from the 2000 I actually took!) – I really put my new camera through its paces, and I’m sure there’ll be some Bornean-influenced PlanetJune designs coming in the future. 😉

Please do leave a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post, and, if you’d like to know more about our trip and see some scenery etc, you can also take a look at my travel journal: A Bornean Adventure.


  1. Shas Cho said

    Thanks for continuing to share your adventures.
    I can’t wait to see the colugo pattern !

  2. Cheryl said

    You are a fabulous photographer, June! Thoroughly enjoyed seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Wan said

    You were here???!!! It’s good to know you had enjoy your trip here 🙂

    • June said

      I did! You have a lovely country 🙂

  4. Jan Faircloth said

    Yours is the only SA website I will look at. Since I fell into you on Ravelry, I have loved all your animals. I got tired of all the regular zoo animals and was lamenting where were all the other animals non-specific to USA and there you were. I was sooo bummed when you said that you were moving to SA. I was so sure that I’d never see your animals again and then up you popped with some great ones. Now, if you can’t find anything in 2,000 pics, then you may as well hang it all up! LOL Can’t wait to see the Proboscis Monkeys. It seems that you have a plethora of unique animals now, so I’m expecting to see your best work. Maybe a book? hmmmmmm?

    • June said

      Thanks so much, Jan – and don’t worry, no matter where I move to, provided I have internet, I’ll still have PlanetJune! Before anyone gets too excited about the prospect of a pattern book from me, please read my answer to ‘When will you publish a book of your patterns?‘ in my FAQ 🙂

  5. Kathy M Bartholomew said

    What a beautiful set of photos. Definitely a once in a lifetime event. Love all the photos, and the story associated with them. Orangutans are beautiful creatures, I hope those babies assimilate getting back into their environment.

    You take superb photos June.

  6. Jeanne S. said

    Great photos June, thanks so much for sharing with all of us. Looking forward to new patterns of these ” critters”. Sorry you got sick.

  7. Michelle said

    I loved the pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us. 🙂

  8. alicia said

    lovely pictures. What an exciting adventure.

  9. Judy Carlson said

    Wonderful! I look forward to reading your travel journal! I totally wish I’d been there!

  10. .: petrOlly :. said

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us – it’s very interesting and super exciting 🙂
    And I love the photos! The most interesting animals for me are the swallow with such a short tail, the hermit crab (I thought these were some snail shells!), the one-armed crab (a truly funny fellow), and the walking fish (I saw them in the Aquarium in Gdynia, Poland – only their eyes were above water level).
    The piggies are cute! 😉
    Now to your travel journal… 🙂

    • June said

      Ah, hermit crabs are special – they don’t have their own shell, so they inhabit a found shell from another sea creature (so that probably is the shell of a sea snail in my photo!) As the crab grows, he’ll look for a larger shell and then ‘move house’ when he finds a good one 🙂

      • .: petrOlly :. said

        Ah, so I do know the hermit crabs – just didn’t realise that’s the name of the Polish “krab pustelnik” 😉 Thanks!

  11. very cool! totally awesome! (a little jealous too 😉 but in a good way! as in wish I could have been there!) so thank you for sharing!!!

  12. Chrisie (CrochetChrisie) said

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. Ugh, snakes! I’m glad you had fun despite your tummy troubles.

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