3 places you ought to visit in Sepilok if you are a nature/animal lover….

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I love nature.. Nature is after all such an important thing to us, even if some of us are too dumb to realise it… And I always believe in respecting nature.. So if you are also a nature lover like me, this are 3 places you really should not miss visiting when you are in Sepilok, Sandakan…

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The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is located about 25km north of Sandakan, and covers a whooping 40 sq km of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve….

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This is the place where orphaned and injured orangutans are brought here to be  rehabilitated and taught to be independent before they are returned to forest life in selected forest reserves…

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There are quite a number of these apes living in the reserve, but only a few might turn up at the feeding platform regular visitors to the feeding platform. At the outdoor nursery, a short walk from the feeding platform where visitors can watch them eat…

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We arrived at the feeding platform after being instructed to keep our belongings in the provided lockers.. But on the day, we visited, hundreds of visitors, yours included were left disappointed as only a male pig – tailed macaque turned up and help himself to the feast on the platform…

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Then our guide Gary brought us to an airconditioned viewing room, where we could view and watch the orphaned youngsters at play at the outdoor nursery/playground… It was truly an amazing sight to behold and as most of these youngsters come to the rehabilitation centre unsure, terrified and lonely, and there they find a buddy to bond with, learn from and grow together…

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The people here are truly working on a noble cause, saving and preparing these orang utans to be independent and start new lives in the forest reserves like Tabin Wildlife Reserve and so on..

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Sepilok welcomes voluntary workers, so if you love animals, maybe you might want to volunteer at the centre…. many who are there to get close to the Orang Utans and help in anyway they can on a daily basis…

Feeding times are at 10.00am and 3.00pm, the exact moment visitors are welcomed to visit…

Website – https://www.orangutan-appeal.org.uk/about-us/sepilok-orangutan-rehabilitation-centre

Address – Sabah Wildlife Department, W.D.T. 200, Jalan Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan

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Our next stop was at the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre, where the Sun Bears of Borneos, also known as the Honey Bear are being conserved… The Bornean Sun Bear is adorable and because of this reason, many people want to keep it as a pet… And on the other hand, Sun bears are also is a target of poachers because of its highly priced gall bladder and paw…

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Dr Wong Siew Te, a wildlife biologist from Penang, Malaysia was studying the ecology of sun bears in Borneo rainforest and was fascinated by this smallest and least researched bear… it also pained him to see the suffering of captive sun bears, the forgotten bears (nicknamed thus by Dr Wong because they are not getting the same spotlight and protection like Polar Bears and Panda), thus he was moved to begin the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)..

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Sun bears are forest dependent species, omnivorous and are excellent tree climbers… Their favorite meal is usually honey and grubs…

The bears here at in BSBCC are mostly victims of illegal captivity and pet trade… BSBCC has rescued more than 40 bears, each of them have a sad story in their past..

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Mary is a sun bear, and is a favorite of Dr Wong… Mary was captured by a poacher and kept as pet in Ranau… Due to malnutrition, she has a much smaller body… Since she was kept in a house with grew up with humans, Mary kind of forgot that she was a bear and loves to sit on her hindlegs and watch the other bears and human visitors…

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The Sun Bear is protected under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Hunting or selling them can lead to a fine up to MYR 50,000 (USD 16,000) and/or being jailed up to 5 years…

Website: www.bsbcc.org.my
Facebook: fb.com/sunbear.bsbcc
E-mail: info.bsbcc@gmail.com
Tel: +60 89-534491

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The Rainforest Discovery Centre’s main highlights are the Plant Discovery Garden, the Kapili-Sepilok Forest Reserve and a picturesque small lake for boat rides, now on the cover of the Your Essential Guide to Sandakan magazine…

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It is the most accessible natural rainforest – the Sepilok-Kabili Forest Reserve – in the state. Managed by the Sabah Forestry Department, the 4,300ha centre is a park where visitors can go to learn about the flora and fauna of Borneo, as well as bird watch…

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There are also a handful of jungle trails to explore… Each one properly marked, with plenty of signboards along the way…

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The annual Borneo Bird Festival is usually held at the end of the year at RDC, attracting birding enthusiasts from all over the world.

Despite being knackered from our trip to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre, we headed to the canopy walk.., a steel walkway about 347m in length, and goes up to about 25m in height… It leads to the a couple of observation towers – the Bristlehead and Trogon, a favourite of birdwatchers who will park themselves at the towers, or at the Sunbird Shelter….

Some of the bird species that have been found at RDC include the Bornean Bristlehead, Black and Crimson Pitta and Rhinoceros Hornbill…

RDC is about 20km from Sandakan town and just a very short distance from the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and the Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre…
The place (ticketing counter, exhibition hall and Plant Discovery Garden) is open daily from 8am to 5pm. However, the trails and canopy walkway only close at 8pm.

Website – https://m.facebook.com/pg/Rainforest-Discovery-Centre-RDC

Address – Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) Forest Research Centre,
Sepilok, P. O. Box 1407,
90715 Sandakan

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