Semenggoh wildlife rehabilitation centre awaits royal visit

05 Nov 2017 / 13:29 H.

KUCHING: The biggest orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sarawak, the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, about 30 km from here, offers visitors the chance to 'get closer' to the semi-wild orangutans that have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve.
This exclusively Asian species of extant great apes, found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, are currently facing destruction of their habitats due to logging, mining and forest fires, as well as fragmentation of their habitats by roads.
The main goal of the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is to rehabilitate wildlife captured due to prolonged captivity by humans with the objective of releasing them to the forests eventually, and in doing so, it also offers the public 'to meet' this endangered species, so as to create awareness.
The visit by Britain's Prince Charles to Sarawak, this 'Land of the Hornbills' tomorrow would seem incomplete if the heir to the throne does not take this chance to delve into the work done at the centre in wildlife conservation.
The Prince of Wales is expected to be briefed on the wildlife conservation work carried out by the centre, and then ushered to a special visitors' platform to view the orangutans in their natural surrounding.

However, attempts to get further details on the visit were in vain as most of the officials refused to reveal anything about it.
The orangutans at the wildlife centre are fed twice daily, and although visitors can view this from a special visitors' platform, the sighting of orangutans is not guaranteed as the animals are often able to find their own food in the surrounding forest.
Currently, there are at least 26 semi-wild orangutans in Semenggoh in total, roaming free within a 740- hectare forest reserve.
Meanwhile, a spokesman at the centre, when contacted, said if the orangutans were not detected at their usual feeding area, it meant that the centre had done a good job.

Just next to the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), which Prince Charles is also expected to visit. It is dubbed as the gatekeeper to Sarawak's rich biodiversity to those who want access to its biological resources for research or commercial purposes.
Set up in 1998, its basic objective is to initiate programmes for the conservation, utilisation, protection and sustainable development of biodiversity in the state. — Bernama

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