Tuesday, 6 November 2018 – Sabah – Day 8

Tuesday, 6 November 2018 – Sabah – Day 8

After breakfast we departed to visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. It was fun watching these weird looking animals leaping about and then we watched them enjoy their morning feed. They posed one minute and next thing were thumping along where we were walking.   They are the queerest looking animals with their very pronounced noses compared to the rest of their bodies.

Proboscis monkeys are known to make various vocalizations. When communicating the status of group, males will emit honks. They have a special honk emitted towards infants, which is also used for reassurance. Males will also produce alarm calls to signal danger. Both sexes give threat calls, but each are different. In addition, females and immature individuals will emit so-called “female calls” when angry. Honks, roars and snarls are made during low-intensity agonistic encounters. Nonvocal displays include leaping-branch shaking, bare-teeth open mouth threats and erection in males, made in the same situations.  They were quite noisy while leaping around. 

It was then onto the Sandakan War Memorial Park.   I didn’t go up the steps but enjoyed being in the lovely gardens.  The Sandakan War Memorial Park commemorates the suffering endured by and the tragic sacrifice of  approximately 2400 Australian and British prisoners of war held by the Japanese in the Sandakan POW camp between January and August 1945.  Early in 1945, the Japanese decided to move the POWs 260 kilometres west into the mountains to the small settlement of Ranau. On three forced marches between January and June approximately 500 prisoners died. The remainder died at the Ranau and Sandakan camps. Of all those who had been alive in January1945 by the end of August, only six – all Australians – survived. With the help of local people, they were fed and hidden from the Japanese until the end of the war.

Escape was no easy task, as all prisoners were  suffering malnutrition and wer affected by tropical diseases including beri beri, malaria and dysentery. Escapees were also at risk of being turned over to their captors as the Japanese offered large rewards for the recapture of escaped POWS.  This small group of survivors was able to testify against their tormentors to ensure that the world received eyewitness accounts of the crimes and atrocities committed at Sandakan, on the death marches and at Ranua.

It was onto the beautiful English Tea House for lunch. The grounds were immaculate and we had lovely views of the harbour. Was very relaxing.

 

We had a rest before our farewell dinner at the Sandakan Hotel. It was one of our companion’s birthday so we made a toast to Leesa.

It was a very good night – full of laughs and sad that it was our last night with a great friendly group of people.  Onto the coach once more back to our hotel after another enjoyable day.

 

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