Monday, May 28, 2007

Taman Negara - Ikan Kelah

Its back to the jungle again , after that horrendous time I had in the hospital. Some one called me the Little Prick... Victim !! Work stalled while I was away, and I was anxious to start the ball rolling again at work. One more site to install , Taman Negara, clean clean waters, and lots of ikan kelah !!!

So work took us right to the brigde where the 4 day journey to Gunung Tahan begins. I was at Gunung Tahan's base camp. Make not mistake, this is Tmn Negara , Merapoh, not Kuala Tahan. You won't find 5 star accomodations, restaurants, lots of tourists here. Instead you find crystal clear waters, cool, quiet and peaceful camp site.

Trekking up to Gunung Tahan

This is also the site where they have the Kelah Sanctuary. The ikan kelah is the most sought after fresh water fish locally. So much sought after that it is now almost extinct. When you enter the park gates and register yourself to enter this park at the ranger's office, you would have walked past their aquariums where they have Kelah's that weigh up to 8kg. You can't miss it.... over here you get to see the Kelah swimming in the wild.

Next stop was the observation tower where in the background is the Gunung Tahan peak. Unfortunately for us , most wildlife was already sleeping or resting in the heat of noon. According to Park Ranger Azmi, most wildlife wake up early in the morning , rest by Noon, or wake up close to sunset and play until late morning.

From this platform, we should be able to hear them hunting, eating , doing their wild activities, etc. We managed to see Elephant treks along the road we were travelling on. The river we were allowed to install our sensors is one of the spots the elephants play. I was quite surprised to find out that we rarely spot elephants during the day. They are mostly nocturnal animals. hmm.... what about those elephants in the zoo ?

I was told that once in a blue moon, some fisherman will be able to catch the Kelah, but really its really like striking gold when you try to find this fish outside of the National Park. This fish is fussy when it comes to water cleanliness. The current market rate is about RM120 per kg. Not sure if you can find them in restaurants, but I am sure it will cost even more. Hope to get some one day....


Beans said...

I remember feeding the ikan kelah when I went to Taman Negara a few years back. Quite an experience. Got a bit freaked out surrounded by so many huge fishes though. Lol

Anonymous said...

you must have gone to Tmn Negara via the Kuala Tahan entrance. Over at Merapoh they are not that big yet,but the numbers are growing

Anonymous said...

Wow, so close to nature, i love! You have such a wonderful job. How does one get there and are there any hostels/accomodations at the park?

Bernsy said...

got accomodation /hostel at Merapoh, but not 5 star like @ Kuala Tahan lo. Ranger's quarters (RM50 / nite) available at the office, and Kuala Juram (where the Kelah Sanctuary is) you can rent beds at RM10 or you can camp there.

Anonymous said...

I had also been to Gunung Tahan through the Merapoh route.

It was almost ten years ago but still remember fondly about the climb. We were a group of climbers from EPU and it took us two days to go up but the way back was only one day. It was an express one as one of the climbers got the news that his mother passed away that day.

Yes, I did see the kelahs, lots of them, forgot to bring rod& line but anyway, it was a pleasure seeing the fish swimming ang coming up the water for food. Wow!!!!!!!!!

Hope to repeat the trip soon!

Anonymous said...

one thing i can't understand is why all the sanctuaries are feeding floating pellets to these kelahs.they are by nature bottom feeders.