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The Wild Men of Borneo

Listed under Wildlife in Sandakan, Malaysia.

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Personable orang utans live in families and have complicated social interactions which make them inspiring creatures to watch. Though most people are aware of how closely linked they are genetically to humans, there is still surprise at how like us they are in their movements and relationships.

One of the best places to meet an orang utan is at Sepilok Orang utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah. You’re likely to see them in their natural habitat aping around trying to impress visitors and make them laugh or caring for their younger friends like a parent or older sibling. Some of the orang utans at Sepilok are orphans while some have been confiscated off people who had kept them as pets, so they’re being re-trained to survive in the wild - by older, wild orang utans who have been brought in when ill or injured. They’re fed a dull diet to encourage them to forage in the wild, but you're still likely to meet some at the reserves regular feeding times.

Orang utans have been native to the mountainous jungle rainforests of Malaysian Borneo for centuries but the spread of settlements into their mountain terrain, logging, poaching, and their capture to be domesticated has made their lives in the wild more difficult.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Other expert and press reviews

“Borneo: Fiona Bruce is wild about Sabah”

By Fiona Bruce for The Independent. First published 19th January 2009. It was only when I reached Borneo that I realised it's not actually a country but an island in the South China Sea, belonging to three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. I k… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Telegraph, 19th January 2009.

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