The future looks grim and the present looks cloudy, this is the plight of the orangutan. The forests in the world are shrinking rapidly day by day, even in the the last frontier of Borneo. The orangutan is loosing their home land (habitat) to the continuous clearing of the forests to what man called human development. Deforestation due to illegal logging and the continuous land clearing for the oil palm plantations are taking its toll on the orangutan population in the wild. The scientists estimated that there are about 11,000 wild orangutans left in Sabah, this might seems a rather hopeful piece of news. But orangutan has the slowest reproduction cycle in the mammals world, and most of them live a solitary life, their species survivor is really left in our hands. Conservation is the key to that goal.
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1964 in Sepilok, Sandakan and it is funded by the Sabah goverment. The main aim of this rehabilitation centre is to help captured, displaced, injured, and orphaned orangutans, to reeducate them so that they have the skill and means to live in the wild again. Baby orangutans usually stay up to seven years with their mothers, learning all the required skill of the forest before venturing out on their own. At Sepilok “Nursery” young orangutans learn jungle survivor skills like the ability to find food, building nest for shelter, and even climbing trees, these are skills that would have passed down from their mother. Sadly their mothers are not around to teach them. Eventually these orangutans will achieve total independence, and will be released to the open forest.
Orangutans are very well loved throughout the world, especially so in the Western world. They have a special connection with us human, may be it is because they seem just like human. Look into the eyes of an orangutan, especially the young ones, they seem to be begging for a big hug. It is not easy to see orangutans in the wild, unless you have all your lucky charms with you. But at Sepilok Centre one is guaranteed to see a few during feeding times. There are two feeding times daily: one in the morning, 10 am and one in the afternoon at 3 pm. People are advised to arrive 30 minutes before the feeding time.
|Ticket||International||MY Card Holder|
|Adult||RM 30||RM 5|
|Child||RM 15||RM 2|
*Ticket is valid for the date of purchase only
Cameras and Video Cameras RM 10
After getting the entrance tickets, guests will have to walk about 10 to 15 minutes to the feeding area. The feeding area is separated from the platform which can accommodate about 300 persons. Note: Please be patient and quiet while waiting for the orangutans to show up.
One can also visit the exhibition centre which has good information on orangutans or enjoy a good documentary on orangutans at the video room. Video showing daily at 8:30am, 11am, 12pm, 2:10pm and 3:30pm.
The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre
from 9am to 12pm & 2pm to 4pm
expect on Friday
from 9am to 11am & 2pm to 4pm
Recently Michelle Yeow, the most well known actress from Malaysia, collaborates with Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to make a documentary on life of orangutans at Sepilok. This documentary is called ” Among the Great Apes with Michelle Yeoh” , and it is currently showing in National Geography TV. Sepilok Centre also works with UK base group called Orangutan Appeal UK to promote orangutans awareness. WWF also has a big contribution.
From left to right:
- Air-conditional Washroom
- Sepilok Entrance Tickets
- Junction to Sepilok (23km)
Accommodations are located around the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, from budget to the more luxury ones, should you decide to stay here and visit the near by Rainforest Discovery Centre.
How to go there? AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines have daily flights to Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur. From Sandakan one can take public transports, bus or taxi, to Sepilok Centre which is about 23km away. The bus station is located at the bus terminal in front of Nak Hotel. From Kota Kinabalu there are also daily coaches to Sandakan, one can ask the driver to stop at the junction to the centre, which is another 2.5km walk away.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +6089 531 180
Fax: +6089 531 189