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ABOUT SEPILOK orang-utan REHABILITATION CENTRE:
Orang-Utans (in Malay "man of the forest") are protected under the Fauna Conservation
Ordinance which, among other things, prohibits hunting, trading or keeping them
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 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.
The 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.
YOUR ADOPTED orang-utan:
We adopt an orang-utan for each volunteer through the Orang-Utan Appeal, a charity
dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of these wonderful animals.
Please note that this project is extremely popular, so very early booking
is strongly advised.
THE TRAVELLERS / SABAH WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT PARTNERSHIP:
Travellers have worked closely with the Sabah Wildlife Department for many, many
years. In the past, several volunteers from the Travellers Orang-Utan project have
been invited by the Sabah Wildlife Department to help with various projects to set
up the Wildlife Park. One assisted in the design of the sun bear enclosure and another
designed and produced the Wildlife Parks information pamphlet.
Travellers also donated £5,140.00 from the Bridge The Gap Foundation (The Phil Perkes
Trust) to sponsor the Children’s Zoo. The Children’s Zoo is first and foremost an
educational facility with an information centre currently under construction that
will boast live exhibits. Brightly painted murals engage attention and the petting
zoo allows children to have hands on contact with domestic animals and wildlife
to encourage learning about conservation. In the petting area there are Rabbits,
Tortoise, Miniature Ponies and Goats. Travellers' donation reflects their commitment
in education and raising awareness about conservation.
2010 saw the start of a Conservation Awareness Programme at Lok Kawi, funded by
Travellers and involving over 1000 local school children in its' first year. The
purpose of the awareness programme is to teach the importance of nature and wildlife
conservation to younger generations through exposure to Borneo's native wildlife.
This and many other initiatives have been very successful.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome
Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet
where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator
for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well
as while you're on your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide
and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching
Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all
we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome,
elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're
used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should
be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our
destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!
On 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
at Sepilok. She'll show you the nearby facilities such as banks, pharmacy, food
and beverage outlets etc.
The next day, you will be given an induction briefing. This covers details about
your role and responsibilities as a conservation volunteer, so that you can make
the most of this project. During the first week, you’ll travel by boat to a jungle
camp in a remote part of the forest, where you’ll stay overnight. Here you’ll have
the chance to view wildlife in the forest and along the river, as well as plant
trees to contribute towards the reforestation of the area. At the end of your first
week, you’ll receive training from Sabah Wildlife Department Rangers, 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
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. Your adventure
has begun :-)