After our normal working day on Friday we were told that we’d be going on a nocturnal trek, this had been planned since we got here and every group gets a turn with their ranger. Our ranger is called Jermious, he has worked at Sepilok for 30 years and knows the jungle inside out so he’s a great ranger to have when you’re trekking!
When we started out it was strange as we were walking around the centre at night and it felt like we’d broken into school after hours! In the day the centre is alive with people and naughty orangutans running all over the place so it was so strange to see it so quite and deserted. We made it to the outdoor nursery which is where we work with the juveniles and it was so still, then out of the corner of my eye I saw something glide past, it looked like a frisbee – it was a flying squirrel! It was so bizarre to see it just flying by, we also saw a flying Lemur, which are quite rare.
After the flying squirrels we set off into the jungle to find more critters! Thankfully we stuck to the boardwalk and didn’t venture off deep into the jungle. It was a bit creepy being in the jungle with just a torch to shine the way! We were told not to touch the handles of the walkway because it would be alive with termites and scorpions!
As we walked along the noise was deafening and seemed different from in the daytime. We walked along the boardwalk and Jermious was pointing out lots of insects for us to see. He pointed into the bushes saying ‘bird, bird’ – a tiny little bird was nesting underneath the leaves, it was so cute! This little bird doesn’t build a nest but instead uses the leaves as cover.
We saw various geckos, frogs and caterpillars and also a Green Viper snake, our ranger Jermious stepped off the boardwalk and into the jungle to take a further look, he got us to follow him and we all had a close look at the viper that was in the tree infront of us. When we stepped back onto the boardwalk we asked him if it was poisonous ” oh yes, very very poisonous!” he replied! “How long do you have to get to a hospital if you’re bitten by one?” was our next question….”oh erm… 20 minutes!” he said…..We left that spot pretty quickly!
On the second night we started off on the walk and saw a Civet Cat, it was so cute! They are the cats that produce the most expensive coffee (google it…it’s pretty bizarre!) It looked like a tabby cat but with a possums head. It didn’t really seemed bothered by us shining our torches in its face!
We also saw a Lantern Bug on a tree, it was the prettiest little thing, all multi coloured with a little blue horn on its head! It sits at the bottom of the tree and drinks the urine of the geckos that sit above it. It was so beautiful and colourful!
We also saw lots of different bugs, worms, crabs (yes, like the type you’d find on the beach!) scorpions and general creepy crawlies! It was amazing to see them all and learn all about their different habitats and jobs in the jungle.
On the way back to the guesthouse an hour later we were lucky enough to see a little Slow Loris up the tree near our house, it was so cute! It was small, with big eyes and moved very slowly! It was eating the bugs in the trees and slowly made it way off up the tree.
We also saw a HUGE green racer snake in the tree near our house, it was just curled up in the tree. We were told that it could possible stay there for up to a week waiting for food, it was a bit eerie to think that it was so close to home!
Our nocturnal treks were amazing! At first it was a little scary to be out in the jungle with only a torch, never knowing whats around the corner but it was so fascinating. It was great to see how the jungle is at night and how it comes alive with all the different insects, birds and sounds. It was a really great experience!