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Archive for the tag “wildlife”

Gunung Gading: Home of the Rafflesia

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Located in Borneo Sarawak, Gunung Gading is a great place for both nature lovers and jungle trekkers to truly feel the park’s natural surroundings. Home to a range of wildlife such as the civet cat, wild boar, giant squirrels and many more, Gunung Gading is also home to one of the biggest flowers in the world – the Rafflesia.

Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that can be found in Borneo. It is known that there are 17 species of Rafflesia, with some being extinct already. However, 3 species can be found in Borneo Sarawak, which are Rafflesia Pricei, Rafflesia Arnoldi and Rafflesia Tuan-Mudae. The only one that can be found in Gunung Gading is the Rafflesia Tuan-Mudae. Rafflesia

Tourists from all around the world would come over to Gunung Gading to witness the plant blooms. The best time to watch this amazing process is during the wetter months, sometime around November to February. It is best to seek for advice from the park’s staff about the best time to visit Gunung Gading if you wish to watch the plant blooms.

There are waterfalls and streams nearby, where you will get to sit down and relax, surrounded by nature. Those who wish to go for jungle trekking are free to explore the forest, as long as they watch out for themselves as wild animals also live there, but most of them live at the upper slopes of the park’s mountains. There are also villages that surround the park. Therefore, in case of emergency, there is always help nearby.

Snakes and humans

Snakes have always been regarded to evil and danger. The creature often appears in horror movies. It is also mentioned in the Bible, in which it was described as an evil form that plays with the human mind. As for ancient Egyptian, snakes represent judgment and death. Although most cultures view snakes as an evil present in an individual’s life, they are endangered species that have to be protected.

Snakes are found worldwide and they come in different sizes and colours, with many different lifestyles. The King Cobra for instance is a dangerous snake whose bite is capable of killing a human in just 15 minutes! Did you know that the world’s smallest West Indies thread snakes are dangerous too? Surprisingly, they’re just about the size of a pencil lead!

Yes, King Cobra is beautiful, especially when it shows off its hood. Pythons on the other hand are ancient snakes; it is believed that their ancestors might have had legs a long time ago. In India, the pythons inhabit the jungle and they can grow to as long 20 feet! Unlike the Cobras that spray out venoms to their prey, pythons kill their prey simply by squeezing the body of their prey and then crush their bones that will eventually kill the unlucky animals. Bear in mind that pythons are extremely active predators and they normally hunt at night. If you think you can escape from a python by jumping into the water, you are wrong. Pythons are good swimmers too and the water is probably the last place that you would want to go to when being chased by a python!

Pythons have beautiful skin and the patterns on their skins help them to camouflage and then strike their prey. They will hide in the bush and when there is heat, this is when the action starts. Since a python can grow as long as 20 feet, it can also swallow a deer instantly. Once a python has already consumed such a big meal, it will not eat again; well, at least until the following year. 

Pythons may live more than 18 years and throughout its life, it will keep searching for its mate for the purpose of reproduction. Baby pythons will hatch from eggs that are incubated by a female python and make their way out to the wild; not all will make it out and survive until adulthood as they are hunted by eagles, crocodiles and tigers.

Snakes may be one of the animals that you would probably want to stay away from, but they play an important role in controlling the amount of pest such as rodents and insects. There are people who keep snakes as pets; well, if you are planning to have one, just be careful as animals can be unpredictable at times.

Bears around the world

1. The Sun bear

The Sun bear that lives in Brunei stands approximately 1.2 m in length and it is known for being the smallest member of the bear family; therefore sometimes called the ‘dog bear’ and probably the most aggressive of the bear family. It will attack without provocation. So, you should not mess with this bear. The Sun bear is also called “honey bear”. If you think that you can upset this bear and then later make your way up on the tree, you better think again; this bear is a good climber and it stays long periods in trees, and one good reason for this is it procures honey from the hives.

2. Polar bear

ImageYes, looks can be deceiving; so, never judge a book by its cover. The Polar Bear may look adorable and innocent, since it’s cute and looks almost harmless, with soft and beautiful white fur but don’t let it fool you. This bear is an amazing killer and it is the most aggressive in the bear family. This predator lives in one of the coldest places in the planet and it feeds on seals. It is a carnivore and would consume carcasses, such as dead whales or anything dead on the ice.

3. Grizzly Bear

ImageThe Grizzly bear is one of the biggest in the bear family and it is different from the black bears. You can see a distinctive hump on its shoulder. This bear has long claws and they are about the size of a human finger! In general, they have brown fur but can vary from very light cream to black. Grizzly bears are omnivores; they eat both vegetation and animals. Basically, they feed on fish from the nearest river. But, in certain areas some Grizzly bears actually eat moose and elk! They can be found in dense forests, subalpine meadows and arctic tundra. They are mostly found in western Canada, Alaska, Washington, and Montana. There were some cases of fatal events involving this bear. The best thing to do when you see one is to ‘play dead’ and hope it goes away. That is the only way to survive from a Grizzly, especially a pissed-off Grizzly bear.

4. Panda Bear

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The Panda Bear is well-known for its black and white colour, especially the round black patches around its eyes! This bear lives in south western China and it loves the bamboo. Basically, the bamboo is its main diet (99%); however, it also eats other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion when it lives in the wild. In captivity, pandas may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, oranges, and bananas along with specially prepared food. Sounds like a pampered bear, I say? Pandas are loved by everyone and they are the friendliest bear compared to their cousins. However, this species is threatened due to deforestation, making it as a protected animal by WWF.

5. American Black Bear

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The black bear’s habitats range from the far northern tundra of Canada and Alaska to the forests of Central America and Mexico. They have small eyes, long noses, round ears and a short tail.  The males are bigger than the females. These bears love termites, bees, and moths. They also consume fruits and honey. Most bears prefer to eat carrion, especially after hibernation as they need lots of protein to gain back their energies. Likewise, do not attempt to provoke these bears; they rarely attack humans but do watch your back to avoid troubles. One thing for sure, these bears are very protective towards their cubs.

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