CNY 2020 – Day 10 – Welcome to the Jungle!

Malaysia is home to many endemic species and some of the oldest rainforests on Earth. We knew that when we actually decided to travel here (we’ve passed through in the past), at least some of our time would be spent hiking through national parks. After all, who can resist walking through greenery this beautiful?

The National Park where we were staying had nice boardwalks we could walk along. They are mostly well maintained and much safer (and easier for people nursing foot injuries, like me!)

On our second day in Taman Negara National Park, we saw plenty of wildlife. We had planned to do the Canopy Walk that day, but we got a lot of rain the night before, which had flooded the trails and left debris everywhere so the walk way was closed.

We decided to take a walk anyway, in an area that hadn’t been as affected by the rain.

We also took a jungle walk that evening. With a guide and some flashlights, we head off into the rainforest after dark, looking for nocturnal species and sleeping jungle friends.

We saw sleeping lizards right away.

I’ll admit, I was nervous before going into this because I knew that there would be a lot of spiders to see. Still, I rarely let stuff like that stop me from having fun. But there are seriously soooo many spiders in the jungle, guys. Big ones too!

Oh yeah…. And when I say “sooo many”, I mean they’re all over the jungle floor. They’re easy to spot because their eyes and spots on their legs light up under a flashlight. Stuff of nightmares, right there!

Spiders weren’t the only thing to see though. We saw 2 different kinds of snakes (both sleeping) and also a snake skin that had been left behind by its shedding host.

This guy was sleeping high up in the trees. Dave spotted him.

We also saw scorpions! They were only visible under black light, but the guide knew where they were because they usually hang out in the same holes.

These aren’t as poisonous as the ones in the desert but they’ll still do a number on you.

We also saw various moths and sleeping birds on this walking tour. We saw several stick insects and a millipede too! But the coolest thing we saw was a slow loris!

He’s upside down in the tree. We watched him move slowly down for some leaves, and then he moved back up into the tree when he’d eaten the ones he was interested in.

Slow Lorises are nocturnal animals that live on fruit and leaves. They’re one of the only venimous mammals on Earth and their venom is actually strong enough to kill a human. Still, there is a demand for them in illegal black markets because people like to try and keep them as pets. You’ve probably seen cute videos online of Lorises raising their arms to be tickled. It’s not cute: it’s one of the ways they try to defend themselves. They’re terrified.

This is what they look like. They move very slowly (you might have guessed that) and they’re a type of primate. Very interesting animals.

I really enjoyed our walk through the jungle at night! I hope to never see another huntsman spider, but I’d risk it if there was a chance to see another Loris!!