Last year we moved to Miri in Sarawak (one of the two Malaysian states on Borneo). The state is known for its Hornbills (they are the state emblem) and tourist memorabilia is awash with the stuff. We picked up a few decent carvings before we left as memories of our time there. Hornbills are fairly ubiquitous and with their big beaks it is impossible to mistake them for anything else. Our home was in a suburban area and we did not get them in our garden but we could see them at the beach just a short 5 minute drive away.
|Hornbills, the state symbol of Sarawak are beautiful |
birds with a striking bill
The closest encounter I had, however, was during a trip to the Miri Zoo. My sister and I had taken the children (who were desperate to show her the local crocodiles) and I decided to get a few shots of one of the Hornbills in his cage. The bird was either a thoroughly unpleasant individual or he was just having a bad day (I wouldn't blame him on either count as I am sure he would rather be living in the wild).
|This one had his beady eye on me....|
Whatever the explanation he certainly took a dislike to me. One second he was sitting quite contentedly on his perch, showing of his spectacular beak and plumage, the next he had launched himself, screaming, directly at my face. I was thoroughly relieved to be separated from this close relative to the harpy by a sturdy close mesh cage. He certainly made me jump – quite a sight given that I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time! The strange thing was that, having made his feelings towards me quite clear, he returned to his habitual perch to preen and show off to all the other visitors.
|And decided to attack....|
|I was pleased to meet him in the zoo and not in the wild!|
I will enjoy my hornbill carvings and the memories they contain of our all too short stint in Sarawak but I will never be tempted to get close to the real thing again.
Posted on the Animal Tales linky hosted by Eco-Gites of Lenault
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