Category Archives: Sabah Wildlife

The Giant Earthworm & Giant Red Leech of Mount Kinabalu

20th October 2012 was my 68th climb with 12 staff from Star Publications, a graceful climb in the rain.

It rained the whole day, as we trekked the Timpohon trail before finally reaching Laban Rata for food and a nap.

As you could’ve guessed, what is interesting on a rainy day is that you can see the Giant Earthworms and Giant Red Leeches of Mount Kinabalu. We had came across about 10-12 Kinabalu Giant Red Leeches and 20-30 Kinabalu Giant Earthworms during our climb. And they seem to only want to come out only when it rains… they love the rain as much as we do. 🙂

We saw these super long Giant Earthworms which are greyish blue in colour, with lengths from 10cm to 60cm long… I’m trying to see if it was fatter than my giant toe, but it’s not… 🙂

One can also see Giant Red Leeches with lengths of 15cm up to 45cm long… This one was found sheltering among rocks under the steps where it usually likes to hide. Hmm, could this one be fatter than my giant toe?

Anyway, these Giant Red Leeches are endemic to Kinabalu, and climbers are kinda lucky as it doesn’t feed on human blood but it rather feeds on the Giant Earthworm and other worms! Somehow it can swallow the entire earthworm in a very short period of time, which is considered super fast compared to a snake if it were to swallow the same… cool eh?

 

Their scientific names:

Kinabalu Red Leech (Mimobdella buettikoferi)

Kinabalu Giant Earthworm (Pheretima darnleiensis)

The Story of Mary The Sun Bear by Wong Siew Te

Wong Siew Te is known as the Sun Bear Man… the man behind the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah!

The Malayan Sun Bear’s scientific name is Helarctos malayanus and the Sun Bears of Borneo are known as (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus). They mainly belong and survive in the tropical rainforests of Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsula Malaysia. However, they are threatened by commercial hunting and habitat loss or deforestation.

In many Asian countries, sun bears (including other kinds of bears) are commonly poached for their gall bladders (bile) and bear-paws. Their bile is used as medicine, and their paws as a kind of delicacy. However, the much sadder news is that they are not only poached but farmed in terrible conditions.

So do visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) to help conserve these Sun Bears!