Located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, roughly 25 kilometres west of Sandakan in the Malaysian state of Sabah, you will find the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
The Sepilok Orangutan Discovery Centre site covers 43 square kilometres of protected land and is home to roughly 80 orangutans. The centre does important work both rescuing and rehabilitating baby orphaned apes, providing medical care and saving them from harmful situations such as illegal hunting, natural habitat destruction, palm oil plantations, as well as being kept as pets. Once the orangutans' have been rehabilitated and become less dependent on the centre, they are able to voluntarily return to the wild
The major features of the rehabilitation centre include an orangutan nursery and feeding platform. Included in this article is a series of photos along with information regarding the centre and the wonderful work they do.
The Orangutan Nursery
The nursery was opened in 2014 and features a large jungle gym for the playful baby orangutans to learn how to climb and socialise. The nursery visitor centre is indoors and provides a large floor-to-ceiling viewing window for visitors to see the activity. The orangutan's in the nursery are very cheeky and provide many laughs.
This beautiful baby orangutan pictured above was so happy and just wanted to play. He reached out to me and when I couldn't return the gesture he got upset and it broke my heart. So adorable.
The Feeding Platform & Buddy System
Twice a day, at 10 am and 3 pm, the orangutans are supplied with fruit and milk at the centre's feeding platform. It was pouring rain on the afternoon I was there and just like humans, orangutans don't necessarily love the rain, so there weren't many in the area. However, I was lucky enough to be treated to the sight of the centre's buddy system; witnessing an adult and babysitting for their nightly meal of papaya and banana's. The adult teaching the baby how to crack open fruit and also handing pieces of the meal to each other.
In the wild, a baby orangutan will stay with its mother for 5-6 years. To replicate and replace a mother's teaching, once a baby has graduated from the nursery, the Sepilok centre has a buddy system set in place. Baby orangutans are paired with an older orangutan that will lead the way and continue to teach them important skills as well as offering love and guidance.
ADMISSION TIMES & PRICES
Open Daily: 9 AM - 11 AM & 2 PM - 4 PM
Tourists - Adult RM30 / Child RM15
Malaysians - Adult RM5 / Child RM2
Tickets are valid for the entire day. Visitors can attend both feeding times with the same ticket.
Camera Fee: RM10
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
Address: Sabah Wildlife Department, W.D.T. 200 Jalan Sepilok, Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.
Phone: +60 89-531 180