Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Orang Utan Island

Orangutans are an Asian species of primate that reside in the dense rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. Renowned for their intelligence and passive nature, orangutans unlike their chimpanzee and gorilla cousins sport reddish-brown fuzz all over their bodies. Latest estimates derived from recent studies, show that only about 7000 of these adorable creatures remain in the wild; as a result they have been declared as ‘endangered’ by the  World Conservation Union.
The Malaysian government has initiated various efforts to rehabilitate and conserve these gentle creatures so future generations may continue to be acquainted with them. One such effort is concentrated on Orangutan Island in Semanggol, Perak.  This refuge is actually located within the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, a favored holiday spot which fronts Malaysia’s largest 7000 acre freshwater lake.
The resort is connected via ferry to Pulau Orang Utan, a 35-acre island that houses the world’s only Orangutan conservation, and rehabilitation facility extending over five acres. This institution also serves as an education and research center that aims to better understand these gentle creatures.
The ferry from the Marine Village at the Bukit Merah resort departs every 45 minutes for Orangutan Island. The ferry trip takes only ten minutes and on the island, you are led towards a 328-foot steel caged tunnel walk-through that enables you to get up close and personal with the reserve’s orangutans who roam about freely their recreated natural habit Yes, in a strange twist of fate, it is the humans who are caged on orangutan island while the primates frolic and play in the lush environs.  Most of the orangutans that are sent to the reserve are orphans or rescues. The main aim of this refuge cum research center is to rehabilitate the orangutans so that they can easily adapt when they are released back into the wild.
A trip to Orangutan Island is highly recommended on any trip to Malaysia, moreover the island is easily accessible from major Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Penang.
For more information on the fascinating Orangutan Island and the facilities available at Bukit Merah resort, do visit - http://www.bukitmerahresort.com.my/orangutan.htm.

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