Cage 14: The Orangutan


  • Christina Yin Senior Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak



Orangutan, Gothic, Animal welfare, Creative non-fiction, Sarawak, Borneo, Tropics


Cage 14: The Orangutan tells the true story of Bullet, the iconic and most well-known orangutan in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The researcher-writer traces Bullet’s story from his infancy when he survives gunshot wounds and is named for the bullet removed from his head by a medical doctor, until his incarceration in Cage 14 at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. It is the story of an orangutan who, in his youth, mimicked his keepers and forest guards, and who throughout his life, preferred the ground to the trees. This orangutan, who chose to stand upright on two legs with his arms folded across his chest, stands posed in such a way today, stuffed and immortalised in a glass display case at Matang Wildlife Centre where rescued and confiscated wildlife are brought to be treated and rehabilitated. Pieced together from interviews with individuals who interacted with Bullet, this creative non-fiction work is a gothic tale of an orangutan’s life at the mercy of his primate cousins, humans.

Author Biography

Christina Yin, Senior Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak

Christina Yin is a former broadcast journalist, news anchor, newspaper columnist and communications officer for a non-profit conservation organisation. She is also a Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus.

She has co-written and edited conservation publications including The Next 100, a manual of English and Conservation Education activities, and Orangutan Folklore and Iban Communities. Christina has published short stories in Anak Sastra and meets weekly with students in a creative writing group on campus. Apart from her teaching, Christina organises student volunteers in Swinburne’s annual conservation events and inter-school debating championship, the largest English debating tournament in Borneo.


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How to Cite

Yin, C. (2019). Cage 14: The Orangutan. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 18(2).