Pulau Singa Besar: Eagle Sanctuary

 

 

.      I have never seen so many eagles in one place at the same time.  Not even in the zoos that I have visited.  And these are not captured eagles – but eagles in the wild! Amazing!

 

 

 

 

.      Welcome to Pulau Singa Besar (literally means “Big Lion Island“), the second island that we visited in the three-island hopping tour of Langkawi in Northeastern Malaysia.  From afar, one can appreciate the verdant lush forest cover of the island – making the island an ideal breeding place for the eagles.  It helps that the island was declared an wildlife sanctuary several years ago – and therefore, all the animals here are protected.  There are reportedly several endemic species that live here, including  monkeys, deers, iguanas and peacocks which roam freely in the island.  But the stellar attraction here are definitely the eagles.

 

 

.      The two more identifiable eagle specie are the magnificent White Bellied Sea Eagle and the smaller copper colored Brahminy Kite (yes, they actually look like smooth soaring kites!).

 

 

 

.      How come hordes of eagles come to this place to feed?  According to our guide, the eagles actually hear the churning motors of the arriving speedboats (with tourists on board, of course) and have been “trained” to wait for the food that the boatmen will throw to them.  Bright!  But then again, righteous animal-rights activists see this as an afront to the delicate balance of the ecosystem of the island.  The eagles no longer hunt for their food – they just have to wait for eager tourists to come and feed them.

 

 

 

.      However you look at it, tourism sells. Malaysia, after all, is truly Asia.

 

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