ABOVE: The first photograph of a wild orangutan in the forest near Tawau Hills Park HQ.

Ficus subcordata fruiting at Tawau Hills: Diary for July 25  2021. From 6.45 am- 12.20 pm

Photos and information provided by Shavez Cheema and Chun Xing WONG of 1Stop Borneo Wildlife.

6.45 am. When we arrived the Red Langurs and a flock of Black Hornbills were already present. The Red Langurs already looked stoned as if eating ripe figs acted like a powerful drug.

7.01 am. Pig tailed Macaques were in area probably feeding on fallen figs but they did not climb into the canopy.

7.03 am. Gibbon family arrives.

7.04 am. Bushy- crested Hornbill flock flies in.

7.45 am. Gibbons and Red Langurs are active.

7.46 am. Red Langurs leave, probably triggered by the arrival of an Orangutan.

7 47 am. A young male Orangutan climbs up one of the hanging roots of the F. subcordata and starts feeding on figs in the canopy. This is an unusual event at Tawau Hills. Orangutans are very rare visitors to the forest around Tawau Hills Park HQ and these are the first photographs ever!

8.00 am. Male Rhinoceros Hornbill arrives.

8.17 am. Male Rhinoceros Hornbill leaves but soon returns.

8.30 am. – 9.15 am. No new arrivals. A Gibbon, Rhinoceros Hornbill and the Orangutan all feed quietly.

9.24 am. Bushy-crested Hornbill arrives.

9 40 am. Male Wreathed Hornbill arrives.

9.48 am. Male Wreathed Hornbill leaves. Note that the crop of this male hornbill is swollen with figs. Almost certainly he is feeding  his female partner in a nearby nest.

10.03 am. Male Rhino Hornbill arrives.

10.15 am. Male rhino leaves

Quiet till 11.04 am. Male Wreathed Hornbill arrives again.

11.11 am.  Male Wreathed Hornbill leaves.

11.30 am. Two Prevost’s Squirrels chasing each other.

11.38 am. Male Black Hornbill arrives.

11.42 am. Male Rhino Hornbill arrives.

11 58 am. Male Rhino Hornbill leaves.

12.20 am. A pair of Wreathed Hornbills arrive.

12.21 am. The previously abundant ripe figs are now running out and the feeding frenzy has slowed down. We decide to leave with the Orangutan still feeding quietly at the back of the tree.


As we leave, we find fresh Sun Bear claw marks on an adjacent tree. Sun Bears feed both on fallen figs and sometimes climb into the canopy. We will be checking on our camera traps in the near future !