KUCHING: Sarawak hopes to gradually increase its wild orangutan population through various conservation efforts and with a balanced approach to development.
State forestry director Datuk Len Talif Salleh said there were currently about 2,500 orangutan in the wild in Sarawak.
“What is important is that the figure has been stable for a number of years. This means that our efforts have been successul in stabilising the orangutan population.
“In fact, we want to increase the population to three, four or even five thousand in the years to come,” he told reporters at a regional symposium on orangutan conservation here on Monday.
The three-day symposium is aimed at gathering views and recommendations from experts and stakeholders on developing an “orangutan strategic management plan” for Sarawak. It was opened by Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
Len said greater public awareness on the need to protect orangutan had contributed to the state’s conservation efforts.
He cited the example of a member of the public who recently handed over a baby orangutan to the Matang Wildlife Centre after rescuing it from captivity as a pet.
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