Sepilok Orangutans Rehab Center

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February 10th 2010
Published: December 6th 2017
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Sandakan, this evocative city's name that made me remember some TV series of the 70s

featuring the great and famous character Sandokan, "The Tigers of Mompracem".

It was the city where I stopped by before visiting the Orangutans Rehabilitation Center

located in Sepilok.

The city itself is quite ok, with a few monuments to explore, even though it was destroyed

during the WWII by the Japanese, so the sights of interest are pretty scarce, now.

The principal reason to stay in Sandakan was its proximity to the stupendous Sepilok Forest

reserve and home of the wild orangutans of the Borneo.

It was concealed amongst a treasure of exotic plants, enormous trees and a lot of green.

I arrived there just before the feeding time which was at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. The

orangutans eat twice a day. It was also very crowded as it is a well known tourist sight,


At the entrance of the Nature Reserve, the visitors are welcome with an introduction video

about the history of the local area.

The orangutans got fed on a wooden platform by two men of the Nature Reserve's staff and

were eating some bananas and dried fruits. It was the first time I saw these apes in a

rehabilitation center and I was pleased by the great work of the personnel of the area

helping these beautiful creatures.

I was lucky to see some orangutans that day because they not always show up during the

feeding time and you also need a lot of patience if you want to have a chance to see them.

I also like to remember, when I was walking along the boardwalk, the invasion of Macaques

running toward me, some on the handrail and some on the ground. It was one situation in

which I did not know what to do and I decided to stand still while the monkeys run past me

and a few others stopping and staring at me curiously, for a moment and then moving

forward again.

The park was huge with its 4,300 hectares and is one of the biggest and most well known

orangutan sanctuaries in Malaysia. Around 65 orangutans roam free within the forest

reserve. During their rehabilitation the animals rely heavily on the help of the people that

work at the centre.

The rehabilitation center was founded 1964 with the objective to help injured orangutans to

go back into the wildlife again.

These Apes just survive in very small populations across the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

It is said that not many years ago the population was around 33,000 species and today it

might be circa 10,000.

But, as always, the ruthless multinational companies saw timber as a profitable resource,

began to destroy the natural habitat of these beautiful animals leading them to diminish

dramatically and becoming endangered species.

I really appreciate that there are some people keen on taking care of these animals and

putting a lot of effort to protect them.

I have been travelling extensively around borneo island and I found every place, town,

sanctuary, national park and offshore islands of great interest and very affordable for the


Definitely one of the best sights in Southeast Asia which I extremely recommend to experience.

Additional photos below
Photos: 41, Displayed: 24


7th December 2017

Amazing work
How adorable are those orangutans? :) This rehabilitation centre is high on our list of places to visit and support... they do such amazing work. And sadly, there may come a time when these orangutans in the protected park are the only ones around :( I was also happy to see your photos of the macaques, I think those ones are the pig tailed macaques, and I would dearly love to see them too. Cheers, Ren
7th December 2017

Amazing work
Hello, nice to hear you again!!Yes truly brilliant work at the Kibili Sepilok Nature Reserve. It has been years ago so I am just publishing it now and I am not updated circa the current situation there. But hope they will keep the work as good as possible in order to get to see as many orangutans as possible in the future. I am going back to Asia on February 2018 and I might go back to Sepilok to see how the work is going. Thanks for the comment RenAndrew and keep well Bye
8th December 2017

Orangutans swinging through the trees is a sight I need to see Marcos. How lucky were you to have spent time with these coolest hairy guys.
8th December 2017

Hey Dave, thanks for checking in. Was great but a long time has passed already. Hope , right now, it is still as great as it was but I am going back soon to Asia and might have a chance to go back to the Sepilok center, again. Thanks a lot Dave always appreciate your comments!! Keep well Bye

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