Borneo’s ‘uglier’ animals to be celebrated in new TV show


Borneo may be famous for its orangutans, but there are other less-celebrated “natural wonders” worthy of visiting.

This is according to filmmaker and zoologist Lucy Cooke, who visited the south-east Asian island to get to know its bats, snakes and proboscis monkeys with bulbous noses, the Guardian reports.

Ms Cooke has been commissioned by National Geographic to film a programme concentrating on the world’s less beautiful animals, and one of her stops was Borneo, a land revered for its abundant wildlife and tropical rainforest.

Under the rainforest canopy lurk some rather unusual animals like the sun bear, the moonrat and flying foxes, lemurs and squirrels – and most of these have remained elusive on Borneo holidays.

“I’m trying to bring a bit of positive PR to the ugly, the unloved, the freaks,” she told the newspaper.

“If the show has a message,” she added, “it’s that it’s not just the cute guys that need saving. So, stuff the panda, save the salamander!”

One of Ms Cooke’s favourite Borneo creatures is the proboscis monkey, which in addition to its large nose has a soft pot belly and “Donald Trump hair”.

Borneo is home to 222 different species of mammal – 44 of which are not found anywhere else in the world. One of its most treasured is the bay cat, which is one of world’s rarest feline species.

The island is also habited by 420 different bird types and 394 species of fish.