Semenggoh Wildlife Center
One of the biggest things Tay & I wanted to do while we were in Borneo was see orangutans. After quite a bit of research and trying to determine where we wanted to go while in Borneo, we decided to base ourselves out of Kuching in the Sarawak State of Malaysia. Kuching was one of the easier places for us to get to and had what we wanted nearby. The Center is located about 24 kilometers outside of Kuching. There are buses throughout the day that come to the Center.
We decided that we had to go to Semenggoh while there.
Orphaned, injured, and orangutans kept as illegal pets come here to be rehabilitated and eventually be released back out into the forest.
Since it would be our best opportunity for viewing orangutans. Semenggoh is rehabilitation center for wild animals. Newly rescued orangutan are sent to Matang Wildlife Center, and after 2 to 4 years they are released into the forest reserve.
Semenggoh is where the orangutan learn to live in the wild while still having two feeding times throughout the day.
The feeding and viewing times are scheduled from 9am to 10am, and 3pm to 3:30pm daily. Orangutans will come out from the surrounding forest to feed on fruits provided by the park.
There are a number of orangutan that live around Semenggoh. We even had the chance to view the alpha male at the feeding we went to. The alpha is the male that has grown the large cheek pads the orangutans are known for. We were told that the alpha doesn’t usually come out during viewing times so we were lucky to see him.
There were even a Mom and baby during our visit that came out together.
The orangutan will adjust to forest life.
They will appear less and less at feeding times over time. The final step to their rehabilitation is being released into one of Sarawak’s National Parks or Forest Reserves.
If you find yourself in Sarawak…
This is a must see. You will most likely get to see some orangutans up close. But don’t get too close. The Park HQ has a nice binder full of pictures of people and park rangers that have gotten too close. They are wild animals. The park HQ even has photos posted with the names of each orangutan at the center.