Conservation and life in Borneo


The other day I awoke at around 4 in the morning with a burning pain in my arm and the sensation of a feather being brushed across my thigh. When I looked I saw a minature “choo choo train” exiting the crime scene. By the time I had got up to check wheter it was a millipede or a centipede it had peed off. It was quite painful, but i went to the bear centre as usual.

That day we had the honour of sorting out the sewage pipes beneath the bear house. Whilst using the rod, Wai Pak suddenly started to dance about like an imbecile: “It’s only a bit of poo on your neck”, I said. But when Wai turned round he revealed a godzilla-like centipede on his back, much like the rubber ones you can buy in toy shops! I did the gentlemanly deed and smacked it off him into oblivion, or so I thought.

As Wai Pak went to put some intihistemine on his bite, I continued about my business. Less than 5 minutes later, I was the one suddenly shouting obscenities and clutching my neck. Fortunately it had kindly donated most of its venom to Wai Pak’s neck a few minutes before, so I didn’t bother with any ointment. It took me a while to locate the arthropod in question and this time he or she was quite deservingly launched a considerable distance.

I’ve taken a photo of a centipede of the same species (below) which caused us so much trouble later in the morning. I swear ours was longer by about 30% and a little broader, too. just goes to show that sometimes when you’re working with sewage, sh#t happens!


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