At Tawau Hills Park in Sabah, of all the strangling figs, Ficus subcordata produces the biggest juiciest figs most popular with the local wildlife.
No Bornean figs are known to be poisonous and several species are eaten regularly by humans.
When Ficus subcordata THP #4 fruited for the third time attracting a horde of binturongs, gibbons, langurs, squirrels and hornbills Shavez Cheema of 1Stop Borneo Wildlife bravely volunteered to act as a human guinea pig to discover what was so special about the figs that was attracting the abundant wildlife.
The answer is that the figs are very bland, with a slight fruity smell but almost no taste. The figs are neither sweet nor sour and once the dead flowers and seeds inside the fig are scraped off, the flesh is perfectly edible with no ill effects. The attraction for hungry animals appears to be the large size of the figs. There is a lot of food packed into a single fig so feeding is less laborious or time consuming compared with smaller figs.
All photos and information thanks to Shavez Cheema, Chun Xing WONG and Yulinda Wahyuni of 1 Stop Borneo Wildlife