Saturday, September 02, 2017

Janice Horton: Adventures in Borneo - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

We flew from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan in the Sabah region of Borneo to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see Orangutans in the wild at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre – the precious home of the last wild Orangutans of North Borneo.

The centre, in 43 square kilometres of virgin equatorial rainforest, was set up in 1964 by an English woman called Barbara Harrison and it was the first centre in the world to dedicate itself to the rehabilitation of orphaned (as a result of illegal logging and deforestation) Orangutans or those that have been displaced (due to being caught and illegally kept as pets). 

Today, as well as caring for young orphaned Orangutans, it looks after dozens of other wildlife species including Sunbears, Gibbons, Sumatran Rhinos, and Borneo Pygmy Elephants.

Walking through the jungle to the feeding stations, we managed to spot some pigmy elephants.

The jungle was so dense that we walked along wooden gantry pathways to keep us above ground level and safe from snakes and other dangers.

All around us the trees were so incredibly ancient and tall and it was a fabulous experience to see both young and older Orangutans swinging through the tree canopy above us towards the food station.