Magical Forest | KCET
Kangaroos in trees and flying foxes -- nowhere else on the planet are their animals as weird and wonderful as in the forests of Indonesia. Despite all the destruction, two thirds of Indonesia is still jungle and, as the islands of Indonesia connect Australia to Asia, it's a unique meeting point for wildlife from East and West. "Magical Forest" enters the steamy jungles of Borneo, Sumatra and Java where highly endangered Asian elephants and hairy rhinos still roam. The forests are also home to the World's largest flower, Rafflesia, and Amorphophallus, which has an 11-foot flower spike. High up in the canopy, the early-morning air resonates with the mating calls of gibbons that swing gracefully through the trees. On Borneo, orangutans tend to spend the night in specially-built tree nests, coming down to ground in the day to move around. The orangutans in Sumatra are more likely to remain in the trees, safely out of reach of the Sumatran tigers that patrol the forest floor. Over in the New Guinea jungle, thousands of miles to the east, the local wildlife has an Australian feel.
The forest floor is prowled by spiny echidnas, a primitive type of anteater, and quolls, vicious cat-like marsupials. The most unusual mammals are sluggish tree kangaroos with very low metabolisms, hanging-out in the canopy. Also up here are the little-known tree-house people who live in fragile homes perched precariously in the highest branches. The birds of paradise are the glamorous stars of Indonesia's forests. Males sport flamboyant plumage and perform outrageous dances to win-over the females. Just a few animals can be found throughout the Indonesian forests, such as flying foxes. The flying foxes are the biggest bats in the World and can fly up to 60 kilometres a night searching for food. They are also the most successful of all Indonesia's incredible creatures.
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