But hurry, because they may not be there in the near future!
Why I’m writing this article:
The time is now because it won’t be much longer until these opportunities will likely pass just like its passing for the slow loris pictured above. (Picture of slow loris skins was taken by me at local market).
My family has been up close to these endangered animals and I can tell you that it has filled us with passion to help see that they are protected for years to come and worship of a creative Creator!
Rainforest Discovery Center of Sepilok was a perfect place to visit Orangutans close up in their natural habitat. Recently being released into the wild, they no longer fear human beings and therefore are easier to spot. The sad part is that there is nowhere else for them to go due to the palm oil plantations surrounding this small park. http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my/rdc/
2. Sun bear: Endangered!
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center is well known throughout Southeast Asia as the experts on these bears and work to help surrounding countries to best rescue and save this bear. They also provide close up interaction with the smallest bear on the planet! http://www.bsbcc.org.my
3. Probiscous monkey: Endangered
One of the most interesting animals on earth is the Probiscous Monkey. Only seen in Borneo, this monkey is well know for the dominant male with his harem. To sit and watch them will make you laugh as they interact with obvious animal instincts! But, sad to say that the time is short for these beautiful monkeys as they feed on Mangroves along the ocean shore which is also prime land for palm oil and resorts. Labuk Bay is one of the few places to see them up close and watch their odd and hilarious behavior. http://www.proboscis.cc
4. Gibbon: Endangered
When it comes to protection of the gibbon, the organization http://www.wwf.panda.org is definitely working hard to combat the loss of habitat, illegal sales, and poaching of this incredible long armed, gentle small ape. Up close and personal with one of these shy animals is difficult but not impossible. In Mondulkiri Cambodia, one can trek 2 nights into the rainforest and wake to the sound of these apes flying in the trees above. Need a guide? www.naturelodgecambodia.com is who you need to visit for lodging and a trekking companion (ask for Cham).
5. Asian Elephant: Endangered!
Elephant tourism is risky so be careful. There are many places to see elephants upclose in Southeast Asia but not all of them treat the elephants well. More than once, we have seen scars on elephants from human abuse. My suggestion is to do your research before you go!
6. Tiger: Endangered
A lot can be said about tiger tourism too as many places have been closed down due to mishandling of the tigers but the Chiang Mai Night Safari is a wonderful place to see these animals and many others up close. You can even take pictures with baby tigers! http://www.chiangmainightsafari.com/cnsweb/index.php/en/
From Extinct To Vulnerable, It Is Possible!
7. Irrawady River Dolphin: Vulnerable
One of the few places in the world to see this amazing fresh water dolphin leap and play in the water is on the Mekong River in Kratie Cambodia. Worth the trip!
8. Pandas: Vulnerable
The closest we could get to this amazing unbelievable bear is the Chiang Mai Zoo. It is a great habitat for upclose viewing. I could spend hours watching pandas interact and care for each other. Though would love to visit a place that lets visitors hold them!
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What we have come to find in our travels is that animals were created for joy, happiness, to teach us loyalty, care, love, and to cheer us up when we need it. You may want to travel to Asia to learn more but don’t forget the experiences in your own neighborhood!
Comment below and name 5 of your favorite animals and why?!