Friday, June 13, 2008


An old man of Punan tribe that using their traditional accessories.
I took that photo at one of long house at Sg. Kakus

Pity civets can not feel the freedom.

I try to play with the small-toothed palm civet but it keep moving around.

One Master student wants to do study on Tomistoma schlegelii (False Gharial) in our area. My boss asks me to assist her to carry out a three night surveys at Sg. Kakus, Sg. Sarang and Sg. Mayeng. I was very excited because it will be my adventures experience. Even though I don’t know how this lady (she is very skinny, though) will catch the crocs. Can she handle it? Hmm…all question marks come up in my head but the funny thing is I never ask my boss. Actually my boss is a crocs expert. That survey was not success because we failed to observe any False Gharial. However, we did observe about two bright eye shine of Crocodylus porosus but we didn’t catch it.

This lady is a little bit stubborn and not listens to our advice during the survey. At some point we come back very late in the morning. We start the survey at 9.30pm and come back at 4am. On the first night I had a stomachache and it was around 1.30am. But we didn’t go back because she still wants to continue the survey and I have to find the nearest place to do the business. Lucky I am not that choosy…hahahahaha.. Actually I don’t have any choice.

From that trip I learn to become a leader or person in-charge of the trip. I deal with the local people (Punan people) that we hire as our workers and also log pond camp staff for our accommodations. Then I realize that I have to be the one that make decisions and not to let the visitors doing things as they like if it is not follow the rules. Especially when it comes to safety of the team members. Safety comes first then work can be done smoothly.

This visits also my first visit to the Punan longhouse. It was amazing long house with the big belian tree in the “ruai” area. It is really unique and it is different from Iban longhouse. I was very excited and keep talking with Tuai Rumah. The oldest man in the long house shows me their traditional costume. He wears the ear-rings that made from the Clouded Leopard canine and the traditional jacket made from the Clouded Leopard skin. Tuai Rumah shares with us about the traditional funeral ceremony as well.

At the log pond camp we saw the local people (Bekatan people) stop and they bring along their “pet”. It was an Arctogalidia trivirgata Small-toothed Palm Civet. As usual I am the one that really excited and I get the civet and play with it. It was very tame and it’s about two years old. According to the owner, they get it when it is still a juvenile. They rescue if from the tree that has been cut down for timber purpose.

Even though it was only a short trip but I see lots of things in this survey. Seeing more people and get interesting stories.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Tumbina staff hand over to us the ostrich egss as a souvenier.

This is the first event that we organized which is related to the community awareness. During this workshop, I get to know more people since I was a new staff join the Conservation team. It was held on the second month after I join the team (I love to call this department TEAM because it was a great team). The feed back from the longhouses is very impressive and we have the chance to get to know them better. It was a success event that our team organized. I was appointing as a photographer and I know I am not good in it. I just take a shot of any occasion that I think worth to take but sometimes I took very bad photos. However, making mistakes is one way of learning (that is what people say) but until today I can’t took any good photos. Maybe I have to accept that I don’t have talent in taking photos even though my friends teach me on set up the mode of the camera. It is just because I can not tell which one is sharp and other things like contrast etc.

During the event, I learn how to communicate with the local people. Even though my Iban language is very bad but I can understand them. It is just I don’t know how to speak Iban fluently. Not only that, I was learn to work in a team with other conservation staff. I can’t remember much but it was a great experienced in order to make me more confident to meet and get to know new people.

After the workshop we had a tour to Taman TUMBINA and it was my first time went to TUMBINA. When I saw how interested these local people saw the animals in TUMBINA, what about their young generations in future? Do they will have a chance to see it in the wild or captivity? This is a challenge for us to make sure that we will play our part in this challenging world.