The orangutan is one of the world’s ratest primate species. Found in Indonesia only on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, they are protected as a much-cared animal. Their population is carefully maintained through an animal sanctuary program.
The seas linking the many islands of Indonesia are filled with the richest marine life in the world. Proof of this fact can be observed throughout the archipelago from the Sunda Kecil Islands in the west to Bunaken off the shores of North Sulawesi and extending outward to the Banda and Aru Islands groupings in the unspoiled eastern seas. At the very botton of the ocean lie enchanting gardens. Shell and decorative rock formations provide a playground for thousand of species in a bewildering display of color.
Between the islands of Sumba and Flores lie the smaller Rinca, Padar and Komodo, which has been designated by the government as the Komodo National Park. It is here that the fearsome Komodo Dragon (“Varanus Komodoensis”) holds sway, the master of all he surveys and now maintained as a protected species. It is hard to believe that these descendants from the prehistoric dinosaurs only came to the attention of the scientific world in 1911.
Horses are by no means rare in Indonesia. They are found throughout the islands as a means of transportation. Many are bred for racing as well. In the Manado and Tompaso, North Sulawesi, horses have become an inseparable part of the sports scene. Jockeys train their mounts in wide open spaces, often taking them down to the beaches near Manado where they are coached to run in the sand and water to strengthen their leg muscles.
The Province in Lampung in southern Sumatra is home to giant elephant herds. This amazing animal is easily trained to become familiar with the human beings. In Lampung, elephants are taught not only to do the usual circus tricks, but they are taught to play football as well. Only here can one see a robust game of “Elephant Soccer”.
Nothing quite catches the imagination of the world as the enchanting Cendrawasih, the Bird of Paradise. It can be found only in Indonesia’s most eastern province “Papua” and the surrounding islands. Local people regard it as the “Bird of the Gods”. It is classified by the “Paradiscudae” family and is strictly proctected under a program of wildlife preservation.
One of the most endearing small animals in the archipelago is the Kuskus, a wooly-haired marsupial found largely in the province of Papua , Sulawesi and Maluku. Its population is now carefully monitored as a rare species. This charming funny-faced little rascal makes his tail act as paws for scampering up and down the tallest trees.
The eceng gondok (Eichornia crassipess) is a typical flower of the tropics where it grows in profusion in warm ponds and lakes. Usually discovered in large clusters, it can also be seen blossoming alone adding its accent to the clear brilliance of the surrounding water. The serene lotus plant exhibits a delicate sheen at the outer edges of its leaves. No wonder this plant has so often been regarded as a symbol of eternal peace.
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