Semengoh nature reserve, wildlife rehabilitation center… the place located about 40 minutes drive from kuching center and guarded by the sarawak forestry department… it was established in 1975 and act as a temporary home for various endangered wildlife of sarawak, especially the orang utans.
animals are trained to be “wild” as one of the rangers says, they are to be independant, and to be able to defend themself from danger. Although they provide food on a daily basis, they are nevertheless regarded as unpredictable and should be viewed at a distance.
Trekking trails are available for visitors but unfortunately, on this visit, the trails are closed and not open to visitors. The park ranger said that the trails were closed due to too many cases of attack by the orang utan and one of the ranger was badly injured recently.
Entrance fee for the center was only rm3. After the ticket counter, a one kilometer drive to the carpark and a short walk to the feeding ground. The humid and hot weather is what to expect at a tropical forest like these, however there is a souvenier shop that sells some drinks and food for visitors, a nice toilet and the information gallery is filled with information about the orang utan and to my surprise, the orang utan have a birth certificate, didn’t took the pictures of the birth certificate though. In conclusion, the visit was a pleasant one and the experience to be able to see the orang utan freely and at their natural environment is something very different from the zoo.
Take note that these animals are not in captivity, they are free to move about in the forest and come feeding time, although there are about 20 orang utans available as the ranger said, only a few was seen and if they choose not to come and feed you might be disappointed. That day, we had to wait about 20 minutes before one came to the food and even so, it didn’t came to the platform but the ranger had to go to her. Only a hand-full of the visitors including myself, waited.