This was the trip we had planned for to see Orang Utans being fed at Sepilok, which is the major rehabilitation centre for this primate on the island. We left the hotel at 4am, and caught an internal flight to Sandakan, there to be bussed straight to Sepilok. After a short and very informative film about the centre, we were led by a guide to platform 1, which is the only public viewing area in the centre. Orang Utans have been rescued from illegal captivity since 1964, where over 700 have been released since then. It has been estimated that there are currently over 250 animals in the greater Sepilok reserve, mainly now living in the wild once more. We stood at the back of the viewing areas for some time, and were rewarded by the appearance of a female with its baby in the bushes directly behind us, which was unusual, since they normally enter using the ropes provided. Over the next hour, another 8 Orang Utans of various ages made their way to the feeding platform. It was pleasant not only to see rehabilitated Orangs in an almost completely natural setting, but the characters of each individual also shone through. The only birds here were a few Ashy Tailorbirds, but this paled in comparison to seeing the Orang Utans.
After lunch, we were transferred to the jetty in Sandakan for a boat trip around the mangroves. The main target was Proboscis Monkeys. We sped past various water villages at some rate of knots, reaching the selected area after about an hour and a few Brahminy Kites and White-bellied Sea-eagles. We had already passed one or two small groups of Long-tailed Macaques, and a single Oriental Darter sunning itself. We were then lucky enough not only to see a close troop of Proboscis Monkeys, but also a further group of 3 large males right next to the boat. There was no sign of any kingfishers on the way out, but the return found a glut of 4 Collared followed by 5 Common Kingfishers. This was in addition to 3 more White-bellied Sea-eagles, and at least another 15 Brahminy Kites, with a kettle of 10 in the air at one time. Just as we approached the jetty, another White-bellied Sea-eagle circled the harbour before landing in a nearby tree.