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  • *harmonica music plays* *muffled tour guide*

  • *harmonic music fades out*

  • TOUR GUIDE: ... in the region that we're going to hike through,

  • an area roughly the size of a soccer field

  • as the number of varieties in the entirely of England.

  • can easily contain as many different butterflies, in terms of species,

  • NARRATOR: This summer,

  • a handful of children brought up in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong,

  • embarks on a journey into the depths of the Malaysian rainforest.

  • *harmonic music resumes*

  • "In the Forest and Open Fields"

  • PUDY: Hey!

  • Do you want to learn to speak?

  • Repeat after me: "HAAALLO!"

  • NARRATOR: "Caged Bird" is Pudy's adopted pet.

  • They play together often.

  • Even at his young age, Pudy has noticed the isolating effects of urban living,

  • resulting in a certain lack of knowledge about the natural world.

  • PUDY: In the city, people don't often see much greenery.

  • When you look out the window?

  • You see a lot of buildings,

  • there's no sense of nature.

  • MOTHER: Ah Yao, I'll take a few snapshots, but you'll have to make some noise.

  • YAO: MEOW!

  • NARRATOR: Yao loves small animals

  • but since her residence prohibits cats and dogs,

  • she'll have to settle for paper-fold dolls.

  • YAO: I like cats.

  • Dad says cats can be messy,

  • and then you'll have to take them out for walks

  • and there's no time for that.

  • So since I can't have a real cat,

  • I'll just play with a paper one.

  • NARRATOR: Fung is curious about all things about the natural world.

  • He buries himself in books about plants and animals every chance he gets.

  • He regrets never having seen a mouse in the flesh.

  • I feel I don't know enough about plants and animals,

  • I normally only see them in books or on television,

  • I want to go see them with my own eyes.

  • *playful shouting*

  • "Scccary!"

  • NARRATOR: GiGi is 9 years old.

  • She doesn't go into the wilderness much,

  • she couldn't remember the last time she was in the great outdoors.

  • On this trip, GiGi appears scared and uncomfortable.

  • GIGI: I don't know much about nature,

  • What I know about nature my mother taught me.

  • She tells me that the air there is really clean and fresh.

  • "We almost past the fourth level!"

  • NARRATOR: Children who grow up in the city are accustomed

  • to the comforts of cars and air-conditioned spaces,

  • leading to an increased distance with the natural world.

  • "Whaaa!" [?]

  • "They're filming you play video games!"

  • PRODUCER: Why don't you go out there and play?

  • - I don't like playing out there.

  • PRODCUER: Why not? The heat?

  • - No, not the heat.

  • CHILD: Don't like it. Don't like the heat.

  • PRODUCER: Don't like the heat?! But we are on this field trip...

  • ANOTHER CHILD: It's so hot.

  • PRODUCER: You're feeling hot, too?

  • - And it's also sunny, I don't like being in the sun.

  • PUDY'S DAD: Do we have everything?

  • PUDY: I don't know.

  • PUDY'S DAD: You don't know?

  • PUDY: Swimming goggles.

  • PUDY'S DAD: Two pairs, right? What else?

  • PUDY: And clothes.

  • PUDY'S DAD: Clothes.

  • GIGI'S MOM: GiGi, remember to bring trousers

  • because there'll be lots of mosquitoes and bugs.

  • - All done!

  • NARRATOR: Pudy, GiGi, Yao and Fung,

  • along with their parents,

  • facilitated by the environmental advocacy group Green Power,

  • are setting out on a voyage to experience

  • the rainforest in the Sabah region of Malaysia.

  • *harmonica music*

  • NARRATOR: Because of the climate, the rainforest is very hot and humid.

  • The flora and fauna grow at an extraordinary rate.

  • Furthermore, there is remarkable biodiversity.

  • Insects reproduce at amazing speeds.

  • 70% of the world's insects live in rainforests.

  • *excited exclamations*

  • - Is that one fake? The one with the wide open mouth?

  • - It's real! Crocodiles are very lazy.

  • They open their mouths, to lure other animals ...

  • YAO: Crocodiles are lazier than I imagined.

  • They don't move, they just lay there.

  • They're really big, really fat, really lazy

  • ... and really stinky.

  • They probably won't bite people, they look kind of tame.

  • Not too scared of them.

  • - Mom! I caught it on camera!

  • NARRATOR: These are saltwater crocodiles.

  • They will eat people.

  • They can grow up to 20-30 feet in length.

  • - Hey, wake up!

  • PRODUCER: Are they scary-looking?

  • PUDY: NOPE! There's one over there, Dad!

  • PRODUCER: GiGi, do they look scary to you?

  • *in a small voice* - I think they're very ugly...

  • PRODUCER: Hm?

  • - ... very ugly ...

  • PRODUCER: Are you frightened of them?

  • - ... its eye is stuck out like this, looks like it wants to scold somebody.

  • NARRATOR: The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary.

  • Orangutans are considered giant primates,

  • fully grown, they could stand 5-6 feet tall.

  • They are social animals,

  • from an evolutionary standpoint, they're our distant relatives.

  • GIGI: The greatest impression? It must have been the primates.

  • When I first got there, I was so afraid, I had to take every step with my mommy.

  • Don't push me!

  • I thought those primates only knew how to eat and play,

  • but it turns out the mommy holds her baby, just a like a human,

  • yeah, those newborn babies hold onto their mommies really tightly.

  • I didn't know that before.

  • They let them run around freely here,

  • but if we were to keep them in a zoo, locked up in a cage,

  • that wouldn't be so good.

  • But I wouldn't want them walking up to me.

  • YAO: I think they're very talented,

  • able to swing around without falling.

  • They see us down here taking pictures,

  • so sometimes they'll stop and pose for us.

  • We can't swing like that because our arms aren't as strong.

  • So I envy their ability to hang around.

  • PRODUCER: Were you scared of them?

  • - A little bit, yeah, I was afraid of them jumping up to me.

  • "Look there's one down there!"

  • - Heeeeey, how are you?

  • PUDY: I learned about their appearance,

  • their way of life.

  • Their habits are very different from those of us humans.

  • Humans eat three meals a day,

  • but orangutans eat only one meal a day.

  • PRODUCER: Some say orangutans abduct people.

  • Would it be a good thing if they abducted you?

  • - Absolutely! It would be great!

  • PRODUCER: What's so great about it?

  • - Um, because I wouldn't have to go to school,

  • and I could just climb trees.

  • NARRATOR: It takes some time for city dwellers to get used to being out in nature,

  • concerned parents even brought along bug repellent.

  • FUNG: Seeing orangutans with my own eyes changed my perspective.

  • I assumed that most orangutans had all their limbs

  • but I saw one that was missing its left arm.

  • And I saw them fighting among themselves for food.

  • It's like they didn't care about each other,

  • it's like they only wanted to get something to eat for themselves.

  • - I wouldn't be scared if they captured me,

  • they probably took a liking to me if they wanted to abduct me in the first place.

  • PRODUCER: You'll become like Tarzan?

  • - Yeah, howling and swinging in the trees.

  • PRODUCER: Sounds fun! But the jungle is full of insects, are you not scared?

  • - I'll put on bug repellent. :)

  • *nature zounds*

  • NARRATOR: Commonly known as the "Holy Mountain" or Chinese Widow Mountain ["Mount Kinabalu"]

  • has an elevation of 12, 000 feet, its foothills is a rainforest,

  • rising into *sciences words describing the specific habitat at that elevation*.

  • It contains a large variety of flora and fauna,

  • more than half of which are unique to Mount Kinabalu.

  • With a spring in their step,

  • the children depart from the base,

  • 6000 feet above sea-level.

  • *hike hike hike*

  • don't go chasing waterfalls

  • YAO: I felt very happy as I was hiking up the mountain,

  • thinking about what the scenery looks like from the top.

  • The air is fresh but lack the sound of birds.

  • PUDY: As I was hiking up the mountain,

  • I could see many plants and insects that one can't find in Hong Kong.

  • I feel my knowledge has increased.

  • GIGI: I'm worried about the vermin ["snakes, bugs, rodents, ants"]

  • because the holes in the trees are mouse holes.

  • I'm afraid of a mouse jumping out,

  • I'm afraid of suddenly encountering a spider or caterpillar dangling from a tree.

  • "Take a picture of it, it has two antennae."

  • FUNG: I feel happy every time I discover a strange new plant or animal,

  • I immediately take out my camera to take a picture of it.

  • NARRATOR: Fung is preoccupied with taking pictures as he hikes,

  • pressing the shutter at the slightest glimpse of anything new and unusual.

  • He says having photographic keepsakes is very important to him.

  • "Eeeww, look at that tongue."

  • "Let's get out of here!"

  • "It's very small, it won't bite people."

  • NARRATOR: Seeing vermin, Fung is captivated,

  • while his mother is startled with every step.

  • Fung's enthusiasm is spurred on by his mother's fear.

  • FUNG: I now have a snapshot of your frightened expression!

  • "Anything?"

  • "It's dead."

  • "It's dead?"

  • "No wait, it's not dead. It's alive."

  • PUDY'S DAD: Are there any insects in there?

  • PUDY: Lend me the gloves so I can take a peek.

  • SOME OTHER KID: And then I'm next.

  • PUDY: Okay, you're next.

  • NARRATOR: Fung and Pudy, considerably braver than the others,

  • still would not dare touch the wild plants with their bare hands,

  • insisting on wearing gloves.

  • "Don't pull at it too hard or you'll break it."

  • PUDY'S DAD: Environmentally-Friendly Bed of Nature! [probably referring to a _bed_ of moss, har har]

  • "My hand..."

  • PUDY'S DAD: No, these are safe...

  • NARRATOR: GiGi is even more scared,

  • not only afraid of the plants being poisonous,

  • but also because they're "gross-looking".

  • *high-pitched giggle/squeal*

  • GUIDE: These are "high legged" moss [NOT actually the name of their genus/species :)]

  • when they're found above 5000 feet,

  • they get very tall, up to 5, 6 feet.

  • NARRATOR: With increased exposure, the children gradually

  • grow less wary and finally take off their gloves.

  • In addition to moss, there is a wealth of pitcher plants on the mountain.

  • Some leaves of the pitcher plants are shaped like a jug with a lid,

  • using their colour and aroma, they lure insects inside,

  • once inside, mucous the jug would then digest the insects.

  • *chatter of childrens*

  • "How big is it? Is it as large as the size of your palm?"

  • "There's supposed to be one that could swallow a chicken!"

  • "You guys should look for that one as you hike!"

  • NARRATOR: The children are especially interested in the pitcher plants.

  • When they hear there are some nearby that could hold a entire chicken,

  • Fung and the others search everywhere for them.

  • "Nope, not going any further!"

  • "Why not?"

  • "Because we don't want to walk anymore."

  • *various complaints back and forth*

  • NARRATOR: After 3 hours of hiking,

  • the children who were initially very energetic,

  • have run out of steam,

  • terminating their trek at 7500 feet.

  • Of the 20 children,

  • only a handful made to it the apex of 9000 feet.

  • Yao is one of them.

  • "How high?"

  • "9000?"

  • "8600-ish."

  • "How high?"

  • "8600-ISH!"

  • "Is it tiring?"

  • *mumble mumble* "...no..."

  • *laughter* "Lies!"

  • PRODUCER: What motivated you to hike all the way up there?

  • - I want to... if I wasn't going all the way,

  • I would have stopped at the third pit stop,

  • since I made it to the fourth one,

  • it would have been disappointing stop there,

  • so I kept going.

  • PRODUCER: What did you see up there?

  • - Up there, I saw clouds and a tower, and a little house.