The beautiful Orang-Utans

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre Travel Blog

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We set off to Sepilok, an easy 30 minute bus ride from Sandakan. We stopped the night at the Sepilok B&B and then spent the morning at the Orang-Utan rehab centre. After paying a rather steep RM30 each to get in and an additional RM10 'camera fee' we walked along a board walk through the rainforest , swatting at mosquitoes. As we rounded a corner, a small group of people had stopped with cameras lifted and there just in front of us, an orang-utan was walking casually along the hand rail of the boardwalk. As we approached the area where about 100 tourists stood waiting for the feeding time, he sprang up into the trees around and hid behind the dense forest, escaping from the cameras snapping away.

We waited with everyone else and watched a lone orang utan sitting on the feeding area, waiting for his brekkie.

The orangs are so goirgeous, they look quite sad in their faces and always look as if they are deep in thought. Perhaps they are! As we stood watching this orang, the rope that was suspended from somewhere in the forest to one of the platforms started to sway. Then as orang appeared on the rope doing the, eh-hem, monkey swing across the rope to the platform, making it look very easy! His long arms loped across the ropes and he pivoted on the platform before grasping another rope to take him across to the feeding platform. He joined the other orang and they seemed to greet each other and have half a hug. The trees behind the patforms began to move and then another ornag appeared, this one a mum orang with her tiny baby. As the mum got to the platform, we could see the tiny baby with an almost bald head with a few whispy orange hairs.
The mother was so gentle with the baby and craddled her in her arms. The mum is called Britt, and the baby is called Brittina!

Two keepers came up onto the platform and poured some bananas onto it. The orangs sat and ver calmly ate their fruit and drank with their hands from the bucket of milk. Another big male joined the group and we stood for ages watching the group enjoy their food and drink. They were never boistrous with each other and never tried to snatch the food, they were so gentle and calm. The orangs made their way off the platform and back into the jungle around, disappearing one by one. The mother stayed for a while feeding on bananas and caring for her baby. Then she grabbed the rope and swung off into the trees, with the little baby clinging on.

As the crowds disappeared quickly, we stayed behind and soon just us and 4 others were still there from about 100 people. We sat for a while enjoying the peace and the jungle noises until we saw movement in the trees. One of the orangs came back to the platform via the swing rope and came back get a few more bananas. We watched the orang for a long time, while he ate and looked at us few tourists that stayed behind. He didn't seem worried by us at all. Probably thankful for the peace and quiet now that the big crowd had gone! When he had finished and swang away, we made our way back to the entrance and waited for the bus back to Sandakan.

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Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
photo by: canuck_downunder05