Slice #6: Misfits of Nature

Despite the concrete intrusion of the city, the wildlife of Malaysia is a part of our every day here in Kuala Lumpur. I live near a golf course that is surrounded by patches of rainforest; home to the wild boar along with several other jungle animals such gibbons, macaques, langurs, monitor lizards, cobras, and a host of birds. The golf course provides a walking trail around its perimeter for those looking to exercise mind, body and soul. Much to the chagrin of environmentalists, an evening ritual for tourists and local residents of KL, involves visiting the loop to feed the monkeys and wild boar. Many set up camp along the route, sitting on buckets next to campfires to “interact” with nature’s creatures.

I wonder what David Attenborough would think.

Just before dusk meets up with darkness, a hairy short-nosed snout, pokes out from the jungle brush revealing a creature in need of a make-over. Cast as a menacing character with its pointy tusks and beady eyes, the pale gray, bulky mass, covered with coarse, bristly hair, roots through the leaf litter that carpets the path down the slope – hoping to find a morsel or two as it heads towards its destination. Following close behind this misfit of nature, trails a sounder of sows with their young in tow. While the sows stay the course, the youngsters run amok chirruping to one another as they scout out their surroundings. If any one strays too far, a loud grunt sends it running back to its mother.

The short jaunt comes to an end as the herd arrives at its venue. Dinner is ready. Clambering around curious tourists and regular locals, these prehistoric pigs push forward in anticipation. As the food is dispersed amongst the throngs, it is met with resounding grunts vocalizing a deep appreciation. Pats and rubbings are tolerated in exchange for the generosity. Hunger satiated, giving into the soporific effect of the slop, the herd trots off to their grass dens to slumber.

I wonder what this animal might dream of.

Photo by Living on Beans

Wild Boar of Malaysia


34 thoughts on “Slice #6: Misfits of Nature

  1. Fellow SOL blogger and a biology teacher in CT… love the header pic, teach about the red queen hypothesis concerning evolution. Such an interesting dilemma – how much to interact with nature and how much to leave it to take its natural course? The more we destroy habitat, the more we have a responsibility to promote survival, in my mind. But what you describe may not be needed for survival’s sake… but perhaps it makes people more sympathetic and aware?

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