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Are leeches a serious problem in Danum Valley?
Yes, we do have leeches in Danum Valley as tropical rainforest is their natural habitat. There are two common species of leeches found in Danum Valley: the tiger leech and the brown leech. The brown leech lives on the ground and the tiger leech on leaves, usually about one or two feet from the floor. Leeches are usually more active when it is wet or after rain. Leeches are not dangerous at all. In our shop we sell leech-socks which will keep the leeches out of your shoes/pants. Although leeches can not penetrate through the leech socks there is still a slight chance that they may bite you on other spot. If bitten don’t panic: it’s only a leech! They can be easily removed by flicking them a few times. They will feel uncomfortable and release themselves from their bite. You do not really need to use a cigarette, lighter or salt to remove them. A leech bite is not considered to be dangerous or harmful as they do not carry bacteria as we have no record of infection or diseases resulting from leech bite. These creatures will leave you with a clean wound. A leech uses an anaesthetic to reduce your pain from the bite, except for tiger leech. Also, leeches usually inject a protein called hirudin, which works effective as an anticoagulant to enable blood flow freely. After removing the leech, you may experience bleeding from the wound for a while. If bitten, you can get a ‘blood donor certificate’ at the reception desk for a small fee.


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