Do you love animals? Orangutans, specifically? If you have the compassion for animals, you will definitely have fun seeing orangutans in an exclusive place. In Sabah, Malaysia, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) is one of the most visited attractions by tourists. Since 1964, the center has already helped hundreds of orangutans. The Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve occupies 4,294 hectares, where SORC is situated.
What can we expect from SORC?
The main purpose of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is to provide shelter to baby orangutans that may be lost and are victims of illegal hunting or being held as pets in homes. This shouldn’t be the case! In the centre, they are trained to survive in the wild. Until they are ready, they will then be released back into the wild. The centre’s staff is professionally trained so, they are in good hands.
Presently, there are between 60 to 80 orangutans moving freely in the area. Baby orangutans are totally cute! You can actually see them, especially during their feeding time at around 10am and 3pm, lasting 30 to 50 minutes. It is advised that you arrive in the centre at least half an hour before feeding time. You would want to get a good spot for viewing, right? Anyway, the Centre opens at 9am and closes at 4pm.
Bananas. Of course, they love bananas and could eat it in their entire life. For baby orangutans, milk is one of the necessities in each meal. At times, the centre personnel add sugar cane in their supplies so that the orangutans won’t get bored with the same food every single day. Once the basket of food is brought out by the ranger, few orangutans start to go to it and eat. However, there are times that they do not appear during feeding time. Tourists get disappointed. Despite this, visitors should remember that the non-appearing of the orangutans is a sign that they are not solely depending on the food by the Centre.
Initially, when new orangutans arrive in the Centre, they are given full medical assessment. The rehabilitation can take up to seven years to fully train a baby orangutan. This is also the number of years that a wild baby orangutan stays with his mother. Additionally, it is a great challenge for the staff taking care of them for a long time. It would definitely require patience and commitment to achieve a successfully trained orangutan. Nonetheless, with every helping hand, everything is possible.
Training a baby orangutan can be difficult. The baby orangutans are treated just like human babies. The Centre aims to teach them one very important skill which is climbing. Here, the younger ones are paired with older orangutans to help them develop the skills that they need to learn. In the wild, this is usually done by the mothers.
SORC advocates nourishing the rescued orangutans and leading them to a livable habitat. The Centre also needs support from the people for its supplies and improvement of facilities. Let your visit at SORC be a memorable and adopt an orangutan. Visit and find out how.