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A close-up experience with Borean pygmy elephants 

Whilst I was laid up in my room at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort from my fall the night before (I was later found to have 5 broken ribs) Karen headed out on a morning cruise (thinking my injury was not quite so serious) towards the ox-bow lake in search of monkeys and other wildlife. The previous afternoon we had seen the monkeys start to set-up their roost for the night. The morning cruise was a chance to see them getting up before making their move back into the rain forests for the day.

The day before we had found a troop of Bornean pygmy elephants rumbling through the forest, but the undergrowth had been very dense so we didn’t get a really clear view of them. The Borneo pygmy elephant is a subspecies of Asian elephant that lives in the northeastern parts of Borneo. Since 1986 they have been listed as endangered as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations (about 75 years) due to loss of habitat.

So, the highlight for the had been to see more monkeys but Karen and her fellow passengers were treated to a close encounter with a troop of elephants, including some tiny babies. I am so bummed that I missed this!!!


The Kinabatangan River is being overgrown


A full-grown Bornean Pygmy Elephant pokes its head out of the jungle
A very cute elephant calf

A very lucky encounter with a troop of Bornean Pygmy Elephants

Mark & Karen Hobbs

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