ABOVE: Ficus minahassae fruits from a fig tree growing at Tabin in Sabah. Ficus minahassae is common in the Philippines and N. Sulawesi but in Sabah is very rare,  confined to the river floodplains surrounding Darvel Bay on the east coast of Sabah.

All photos by Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin 

02 Zainal Minahassae fig 2a

03 Zainal Minahassae fig 2b.jpg
Branches of unripe figs  of Ficus minahassae at Tabin in Sabah.
08 Wong BORA Minahassae 500_1630.JPG
A young Ficus minahassae propagated from a cutting of a wild fig tree at the BORA Rhino orchard at Tabin in Sabah.
04 Tony BORA Tabin. Minahassae May 2018. Tony (283).JPG
A sapling Ficus minahassae propagated from a cutting at the BORA Rhino orchard at Tabin in Sabah, not yet fruiting.

 

09 Zainal minahassae 2.JPG

07 Tony BORA Tabin. Minahassae May 2018. Tony .JPG

06 Tony BORA Tabin. Minahassae May 2018. Tony  (284).JPG
The twigs and young branches of Ficus minahassae are covered in extremely sharp hairs . These hairs are so strong  and sharp that the rhino keepers cannot handle them without gloves, yet the rhinos find these hairy twigs delicious.  The rhino keepers call F. minahassae Aji No Moto after the sharp crystals of a food flavouring (monosodium glutamate)  widely used in Malaysian cooking.

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