We’re sailing up river to find elephants and monkeys. Specifically pygmy elephants and proboscis monkeys! The Kinabatangan River has rainforest lining its banks, but just behind are vast swathes of palm oil plantations. This means the rarest animals are squeezed into a small area of what was once a vast rainforest.
On the plus side, it means the odds of seeing some wildlife might be in our favour.
The Borneo pygmy elephant, the smallest of its kind in the world, is officially endangered with an estimated 2000 individuals still alive. Our chances of seeing them were deemed to be low by local experts who told us that they had headed hundreds of miles away. No guided tours were on offer. Undaunted and with the fatalism of all seafarers, we headed off to look for them in the small tributaries of the river.
Although it is the smallest elephant species (30% smaller than the Asian elephant) a full grown pygmy elephant can be around 8-10ft tall and weigh in between 6,500-11,000 pounds. If they were there, we’d see them.
Thank you for your fantastic support and for encouraging our travel story-telling.
Peace and fair winds,
Liz and Jamie xx
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