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  SOS Rhino : In the News : News From The Field : Monthly Field Report for September 2006
  This month there are 6 SOSRBís RPUs in action. It is another exciting adventure of jungle trekking and of course in search of the elusive and shy creature of Sumatran rhinoceros in Sabahís wild nature.

Matt Hallet, showing a rhino footprint

Joining the RPUs in search of this endangered species was a young American named Matt Hallet. He joined the volunteer program for 4 weeks. During his stay with the RPUs, he managed to see rhino footprints. Apart from joining up with the RPUs with their monthly survey and patrol, Matt also had the chance to join the Community Outreach Program at Kg. Dagat. He had the opportunity to join a farewell party for Japanese tourist who came to Dagat Village for the homestay program. At the party, Matt learned how to dance the Malay traditional dance called Ďjogetí. He also managed to eat local cuisine. After coming back from Sg. Burung, Matt spent a few more days at the Dagat Base Camp. During this stay he was invited to a religious dinner which is usually done the day before the 1st Ramadhan which is the fasting month for Muslims.

France, Jairin and Tinrus enjoying themselves at a mud volcano

As mentioned earlier, there were 6 SOSRBís RPUs carry out their usual survey and patrol. RPU1 lead by Marikus Suyat with his teammates, Tinrus Tindok, France Bianus and Jairin found three wallows during their normal survey in Tabinís jungle. Unfortunately, they did not find any signs of rhinos.

Lusry Basri, team leader of RPU2 together with his team members, Dexven Nuvin, Erman Tara and Martino Minggo faced difficulty on the way to their survey site, as their boat leaked

The team quickly pulled the boat to the shore and fixed the leak.

RPU2 and Matt working together to fix the leaky boat

During the RPU2 survey, they found rhino footprint aged around 1 month and a wallow that is suspected to be used by the rhino.

RPU3 led by Amit Pilik and his team members, Dell Maladius, Medrus Suyat and Lukas Julius, found three wallows inside the jungle. There were no signs of rhino found.

RPU4 and his teammates, Andrew Ginsos, Wilfred Yuya, Yusri Madiun and Rijah did not record any rhino signs this month.

Nature and its beauty

Meanwhile, RPU5 and RPU6 lead by Suzali Jaya and Justin Lanjang respectively, found a few signs of rhinos. Suzali Jaya and his teammates, Sarinus Aniong, Justine Segunting and Rosli Rami found rhino tracks aged 2 days while Justin Lanjang together with his team, James Sandiyang and Suhairin Putra were lucky enough to have encountered the rhino itself. They also found and dismantled animal traps.

First Aid Course by Luke

CPR demonstration
Sarinus appointed as Acting Supervisor

This month, the SOSRB Tabin Base Camp had another visitor. Luke a Canadian was send by Field Skills to train SOSRBís staffs in a First Aid Course. Fiffy Hanisdah, SOS RHINO sponsored Masters Student at UMS came to Tabin to do her research on rhino-tourism also joined in the training.

Fiffy, is in Tabin Wildlife Reserve to meet with all the stakeholders that are involved in the reserve. The stakeholders involved in her study include the plantation people, Sabah Wildlife Department and the NGOs. She continues her work in rhino-tourism by distributing questionnaire sheets to all stakeholders. Lynn, the field coordinator took the opportunity to meet the plantation people to discuss the Community Outreach Program (COP) with them.

A new Volunteer Coordinator for SOSRB starting this month. Chek Min En (Min) was a former student of UMS with a Bachelor Degree in Science (Conservation Biology) with Honours. She will take charge of the SOSRB Volunteer Program.

Min, the new Volunteer Coordinator

Apart from the announcement of Min as the new faces of SOSRB, SOSRB has also appointed Sarinus Aniong as the Acting Supervisor. Sarinus was appointed due to his great experiences and knowledge on rhino survey and patrol. Congratulation to both Min and Sarinus!!!

Other exciting news from the field includes SOSRBís new home. It was an old longhouse once used by Sabah Wildlife Department.. Now, SOSRB Tabin Base Camp has its own office, an exhibition room, a volunteer room, a store room, a new kitchen, new toilet and bathroom.

Apart from the new house, SOSRB also has a new vehicle. Even though itís not exactly brand new, it serves its purpose!

Staffs working together to fix the long house

The long house just beside the old SOSRB Tabin Base Camp (Trekforce)


Exhibition room

Exhibition room

Martino, field staff of SOSRB explaining the rhino foot print

SOSRB Tabin Base Camp new office

New kitchen at the long house

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