CONSERVE ORANG-UTANS AT SEPILOK ORANG-UTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE
Orang-Utans are astonishingly gentle, highly intelligent and they gaze at you with almost disconcerting frankness! At Sepilok you will have the opportunity to work with these gentle and highly intelligent red apes in their natural environment. Interaction with these remarkable creatures, man's closest relative, will be an unforgettable experience!
The Orang-Utan is one of the most endangered of Malaysian wildlife species. Found only in Borneo and Sumatra, the Orang-Utans’ survival is constantly threatened by forest fires, felling of trees, poaching and illegal hunting.
Work will be done on a rotational basis, with different groups of volunteers working within each of the different departments outlined above. The tasks that you are asked to do, no matter how small, will help to improve the day to day life for these Orang-Utans - you will gain great satisfaction knowing that you have contributed to this. This is a serious placement where you are doing meaningful conservation work. You will be required to work very hard and should have a high level of fitness in order to take part.
At times you will be supervised by staff at the centre, at other times you will be required to work independently.
"We worked so hard there and tried to make such a difference and have an impact on all their lives, which we obviously achieved. We bought towels to make hammocks for the Orang-Utans in their cages as they had nothing. Just to go in each morning and see them curled up in them was rewarding!"
Field Survey within Sepilok Reserve:
Similar duties will also be carried out for individual platforms, where you will be required to note the number of Orang-Utans, sex ratios and where possible, identify individual Orang-Utan from their ID number or name.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into
South East Asia and Malaysian culture.
The enormous satisfaction of helping Orang-utans
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into South East Asia and Malaysian culture.
The enormous satisfaction of helping Orang-utans knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
ABOUT THE SEPILOK ORANG-UTAN
The Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre is situated on the east coast of Sabah, 23 km from Sandakan. A twenty-minute drive from Sandakan brings you to Kabili-Sepilok Forest, an enormous area of virgin rainforest. The wealth of indigenous and rare plants, animals and birds that have found sanctuary here must be seen to be believed. The Wildlife Reserve contains the Orang-Utan rehabilitation centre.
Sepilok centre was established in 1964 to return orphaned apes back to the wild. The objectives of the project have expanded in recent years and while Orang-Utan rehabilitation is still the primary goal at Sepilok, present aims include public education on conservation and research with other endangered species. The centre now has more than 37 staff looking after the welfare of the Orang-Utans.
When the rescued Orang-Utans first arrive at the centre, they are often in a sorry state and riddled with diseases. They are put into cages while they're treated for their ailments and nursed back to health. The wardens then teach them how to forage for fruit, climb trees and generally fend for themselves. When they are mid-way through the rehabilitation process they are released into the surrounding forest reserve. The animals then spend most of their time in the forest but often return to one of the centre's five feeding platforms for a “free” meal. When the wardens feel that that an Orang-Utan is fully rehabilitated, it is caught and returned to the wild - usually deep in the forest or to one of the National Parks or Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Mangrove Forest Trail - This is the most famous trail in the Sepilok Centre and takes about 2-3 hours walking one way. Interesting features include a scenic stream, water-holes, transitional forest, pristine lowland rain forest, boardwalks into the mangrove forest and wildlife tracks.
Got any questions? Please email us:
at Sepilok will be in the nearby Sepilok Rest House. This is a
privately run Bed and Breakfast which comprises basic but clean
The Sepilok Rest House
is located at the entrance to the Orang-Utan
centre and just a few minutes walk from here takes you to the edge of
the tropical virgin rainforest
and a wide expanse of lush jungle.
Volunteers are required to share rooms (usually two or three to a room) and food will be provided at the Rest House. The owner (Mr Chong) and his staff are very friendly and will ensure that you are made to feel at home!
|ARRIVAL: YOUR INTRODUCTION TO THE COUNTRY|
When you arrive, you will be
welcomed by Ronn. She is the Volunteer Co-ordinator, assisting Albert,
our Malaysia Manager. Ronn will take you to your accommodation in Kota
Kinabalu, where you will spend the first couple days of your trip. She
will show you the nearby facilities such as banks, pharmacy, food and
beverage outlets etc.
Whilst in Kota Kinabalu, Albert will give you an evening induction (so you will be free to do some activities during the daytime). He will talk about your role and responsibilities as a conservation volunteer, so that you can make the most of this project.
When you reach Sepilok, you will receive an induction from Sabah Wildlife Department, who run the Sepilok Orang-Utan centre. This induction will include a briefing on the project in detail, ready for you to start work with the Orang-Utans at the beginning of week 2.
Our projects in Malaysia (particularly the Orang-Utan centre) are very popular and you are sure to have a wonderful time during your stay in Sabah.
|NOTES ABOUT THE ORANG-UTAN PROJECT:|
WHO CAN APPLY?
The following are included in the cost of your placement at Sepilok, but are subject to confirmation and individual elements may change:
“Life is wonderful and job satisfaction immense!! My first 9 day rotation is in the outdoor nursery, looking after the 3-7yr olds, equivalent to truculent teenagers - full of hormones, who really don't want to do as they are told. These teenagers are being prepared for release, and so it's rather 'tough love', we are discouraged from contact and are actively encouraging independence. It was dry enough to take them to the jungle gym today. It was incredible to see them climbing to great heights with not a backward glance or trace of fear. It's all the more amazing as these youngsters have been orphaned at ages of no more than a few months and have not benefited from their mothers tuition. It's amazing how quickly you become accustomed to being surrounded by orang-utans! It is so magical, they are amazing creatures, so intelligent and such different characters. It quite takes my breath away when these little 'people' put their hand in yours and just study you intently” Debbie Mayne on her placement at Sepilok
|PLACES TO SEE:|
The nearest town to Sepilok is Sandakan where you can find internet cafes, banks, shops and markets. There are also many historical sights in Sandakan, some of which you will have the opportunity to visit during the first week of your placement. One of these is the Australian War Memorial, built in memory of those who sacrificed their lives during World War II.
Sukau and the region of the Lower Kinabatangan River is unrivalled in terms of wildlife. It stretches for 560 km and is estimated to have the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Malaysia. Taking a river cruise gives you the opportunity to see a variety of animals in their natural environment; birds, reptiles and monkeys of which the most unusual is the proboscis monkey - famous for its long nose and round belly, the proboscis monkey is sociable and active, which means that you are sure to see many of them swinging through the trees along the river bank. If you are lucky, you many even see a herd of pygmy elephants grazing and drinking water by the river bank. This unique environment is a fascinating place to visit and is only about 2 hours drive from Sepilok.
If you are lucky, you many even see wild boar crossing the river. This unique environment is a fascinating place to visit and is not far away from Sandakan.
Other attractions are the Puh Jih Syh Temple, the biggest and most expensive temple in Sabah that overlooks Sandakan Bay, the Sim Sim Water Village and the Rotary Observation Pavilion which contains a birds-eye view of Sandakan town.
From the harbour area boat trips to Selingan (Turtle) island and Langakayan can be arranged, although most trips are not possible in a day and instead visitors usually stay overnight.
"Just reporting in after a full week of work and it is absolutely fantastic! I was working in the outdoor nursery last week and fell in love with all of the orang-utans, especially Angkong! It was wonderful seeing them climbing. The highlight of my week was when a mum and baby came into the nursery and she took a bunch of bananas out of my hand - amazing." Karen Herring on her placement at Sepilok.
Got any questions? Please email us:
|TRAVEL, VISAS, SUPPORT & BACKUP:|
You will fly into Kota Kinabalu International Airport, where you will be
welcomed by Ronn (Volunteer Co-ordinator), who assists our Travellers Organiser
and Malaysia Manager, Albert. Ronn will settle you into your accommodation in KK
for the first 2 nights of your stay.
You have the option to arrange your own flights or we can assist you with your flight arrangements. If you would like us to do this for you, we will liaise with you regarding available flights and dates to suit you. All arrangements for your flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled by Murray Rogers Travel Limited, ATOL No. 6856. Where possible, we arrange for two or more people to travel on the same flight and we will let you have the names and telephone numbers of other volunteers on your flight, so that you can chat to each other or even meet up before leaving for your placement.
Where possible, all flights we arrange for you have changeable return tickets because many of our volunteers choose to extend their stay once they are in their destination country. Changeable return tickets enable you to do so, within the limits of your visa and the level of your air ticket, of course. If you choose to book your own flights, you should endeavour to get a changeable ticket.
VISAS:. Visas are not required for stay of up to 90 days if you are a British Passport Holder. If you want to stay longer in Malaysia, or if you are not a British Passport Holder, please speak to us about specific visa requirements, if any. We will make the Visa process very easy for you!
To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme, please click here.
comes close to the feeling you get when an orang-utan
looks you in the eye. They are wonderful, warm,
endearing and very inquisitive creatures. Nala
here was practicing how to conjugate her verbs".
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