It’s 10am at the world-famous Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok on Sabah’s east coast and five hungry adolescents have just swung by for morning tea.
Over the past 40 years, 760 of these beautiful creatures who share 96.4% of our DNA have been admitted into Sepilok’s rehabilitation program. Most have completed it, two-thirds are now roaming (safely) in the wild while around 150 remain in the centre’s 43 square km rainforest. A cute addition for visitors is the nursery where we watch adorable red-headed bundles play fight, climb and generally hang about until around 5 years of age when they graduate and become primary school primates.
Next door, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre has recently opened providing a safe haven for 35 rescued bears, the world’s smallest, immortalised by the honey-loving Winnie the Poo.
They’ve all settled in well apart from one who decided to make a break for it. After scoping out how to move from tree to tree, she managed to escape and was on the lam for 8 days, finally returning back to food and shelter. Obviously, life on the outside was harder than she thought…..