Words can’t sum up what an amazing experience it was to volunteer at Sepilok Orangutan Centre for 8 weeks with these fabulous apes. Whenever I do a wildlife volunteering experience I always research it very carefully to try to ensure it’s an ethical one, and I’ve occasionally been disappointed to discover that it’s not quite … More Freedom
The ‘outdoor’ nursery is the area where the four to seven year old OrangUtans live, play, and start venturing out into the forest on their own. Working there meant that our day started with filling a couple of baskets with bananas, papayas, oranges, watermelon, guava, carrots, green beans, sweet potato and sugar cane, and taking … More Sepilok Orang Utan Centre – Volunteer Duties – Outdoor Nursery
Our second ‘trekking’ week was a mixture of trekking and other chores. Just like the first week, our morning started with getting leaves for the play-cage – sometimes these would be banana leaves, and other days our ranger Pamik would cut down a whole tree for us to put inside! On one of the days … More Sepilok – Trekking week 2,’chores’ and Yokmel
We all had two days off in between changing duty rotations, and so we went to one of what’s known as the Turtle Islands. The islands are so named because of the many turtles that swim in the waters around them and they are also the place where green turtles and hawksbill turtles lay their eggs … More Borneo – Turtle Islands
The twelve volunteers are split up into three groups of four, and each group spends 6 days doing the same duties before having a day off, then changing to something different. On my first and fourth working weeks I was assigned to the ‘indoor nursery’. The word ‘indoor’ actually only means that the public don’t … More Sepilok Orang Utan Centre – Volunteer Duties – Indoor Nursery
After four weeks here we had four days off, so I decided to make the most of it and go somewhere different. Four of us decided to fly to Kota Kinabalu, 30 minutes away, at a cost of £24 return. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island … More Borneo – Kota Kinabalu – 4 days off
This week we are assigned to Orang Utan Jungle Surveys. This entails putting on leach ‘socks’ and more clothes than are comfortable in this humidity as we try to avoid getting leaches attached to us when we are pushing our way through the leaves:( The leaches are nothing like the flat black leaches we … More Sepilok – Trekking Week. March 20th – 25th
Our second week of work started with a day that included tree planting. We had to drive for an hour to get to a river where we would take a boat journey, and then trek to an area where the local people are trying to keep the area populated with indigenous trees instead of palm … More Borneo. Tree Planting.
It’s incredible to see just how intelligent and human-like Orang Utans are. I thought I’d start writing snippets as I will forget the amazing moments where we just look at each other and go ‘wow’, or ‘they’re just like us’….. 12th – 17th March. Our first week is in the nursery area, with the OUs … More OrangUtan Antics – Working Week 1.
Next door to the Orang Utan rehabilitation centre is another sanctuary for Sun Bears. Here, rescued bears can roam large areas of forest, dig for grubs, climb, forage and rest in the trees within the enclosures. They are the second rarest bear species, after the giant panda. The sun bear population has declined by at least … More Bornean Sun Bears