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  SOS Rhino : In the News : News From The Field : Monthly Field Report for February 2005
 
MONTHLY FIELD REPORT
FEBRUARY 2005
  After a considerable time we finally managed to find a person to fill the position of Development Officer for SOS Rhino (Borneo). She is Gem Asildo, a graduate in Social Development and Administration, Universiti Sains Malaysia and has many years of working experience. She is expected to assist the Program Officer to enable him to do more fieldwork and research, and to engage with government agencies, oil palm plantations and villagers.


Gem Asildo


A 6-day field excursion was made by the Program Officer together with one RPU team. Two volunteers participated in this rhino survey beginning 7th February 2005. One new recruit, Yusri Madiun, joined and made his first rhino tracking. Our volunteers were Thulasi Sarvarnanthar, a local Sabah Malaysian who is doing a degree in veterinary medicine at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia and Pernille Mathisson, a Danish national working as a zookeeper at Copenhagen. We tracked to the mud volcano in the core area and found no evidence of rhino visitations. We saw a group of wild pigs, a sambar deer, a deformed river terrapin and many species of birds. We also heard wild asian elephant trumpeting in the forest. We covered a total of 46 kilometers.


The team at the mud volcano


The volunteers trekking in the forest


Our volunteers with a river terrapin


Our camp site on a sand in the middle of the river.

On 14th February, SOS Rhino (Borneo) took a 4-day off to play soccer in Penampang, Kota Kinabalu. Although our team lost 4-1, the "sarong party" held later in the evening was uplifting. The team brought along some 40 kg of fresh river prawns from Segama River to make the party more memorable. This is the second party, and will be an annual affair. The soccer game and party were highlighted by the local media.


The "Sarong Party" as reported in the local daily


The SOS Rhino (Borneo) with their opponents

On 19th February, the Program Officer attended the Chinese New Year party hosted by Mr, Khoo Eng Min, the Managing Director of PPB Oil Palm Berhad in Sandakan. Dr. Petra Krezschmar, our Field Scientist was also present.

On the 20th February, the Program Officer headed for Lahad Datu and accompanied into Tanjung Utik by two Swiss volunteers; Nicole and Pascale. Nicole is a zoo education officer at Zurich while Pascale is a bovine veterinarian. A one-day rhino survey was conducted along the Tabin River. A few old rhino prints were seen but were insignificance. However, Nicole and Pascale were impressed with our rhino conservation efforts and have promised to arouse interest of the Zurich zoo to look at working with SOS Rhino.


Nicole and Pascale on a river cruise and viewing wildlife along the SegamaRriver

On February 26th the Program Officer went over to Sandakan to attend the Annual Dinner party of PPB Oil Palm Berhad. He spent two days at Sepilok to meet up with Dr. Petra to look at the progress of the rhino breeding program. A special meeting on the rhino breeding program was held between Dr. Sen and Dr. Rosa from the Wildlife Department Sabah.




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