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International Citizenship Experience (ICE) - 1st day in Kuching, Malaysia

Our International Citizenship Experience (ICE) programme student blog series continues with a post from UK student, Ffion Llewellyn about the group's visit to Semenggoh Nature Reserve on their first full day in Kuching, Malaysia.

On our first full day here in Kuching, we visited the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, which is home to 28 orangutans. The orangutans are semi-wild, as they are free to roam around the forest but they may also return to the centre for extra food if they need it! Since the orangutans are free to roam, the wardens cannot guarantee that they will come down to the centre.

However, we were very lucky because when we arrived, there were two orangutans swinging around in the trees! One of the orangutans was the oldest in the reserve; a grandmother aged 46, accompanied by her latest son, aged nine! The two of them took the food from the rangers and we observed the son pinch his mother’s food when he had finished his own.

Afterwards, our tour guide took us deeper into the forest so that we could see what the true jungle is like. Although we did not manage to see anymore orangutans in there, we did see various other animals including a poisonous snake! As we were just about to leave, we spotted three more orangutans. One of them was the youngest, at just nine months old, and she was called emas (meaning ‘gold’) as she was born on Malaysia's Independence Day. It was impressive to see Emas clinging onto her mother as she swung from tree to tree and collected food.

Although it was a shame that we did not see Richie, the King of the Jungle, it was wonderful to be able to see orangutans in such a wild environment and yet still get so close to them! I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the reserve and it was a lovely activity to partake in before the start of work experience out here in Malaysia!