Wednesday, January 29

Centre rejoices with two orangutan babies in three weeks

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Selina with her new-born clinging on tightly.

Selina with her new-born clinging on tightly.

KUCHING: Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is again in celebratory mood after it was presented with a second bundle of joy, an orangutan baby yesterday, barely three weeks after one was born on Sept 16.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) announced that Selina, 12, showed up at the feeding platform in the afternoon of Oct 9 with her first offspring.

Pregnant Selina was last seen on Oct 2 and when she returned to the feeding platform on Oct 9, she had a male baby clinging onto her.

The management of Semenggoh Wildlife Centre believed that

Oct 6 was the most likely date of birth of the new addition to the centre. Mother and child look healthy and mother is eating well. With these two births, the centre now has 28 free-ranging orangutans in the forest of Semenggoh Nature Reserve where the centre is located.

Of these 28 orangutans, 17 were born at the centre. In fact, six orangutans at the centre have given birth to multiple offspring at an interval of about five years, whereas female orangutans in their original habitat have been recorded to produce offspring at an interval of eight years.

The rising population of orangutans at the centre speaks volumes of the soundness of its rehabilitation programme.

Considering that Semenggoh is not a natural habitat for orangutans, it is a manifestation of the success of Sarawak’s orangutan conservation plan. SFC has an Orangutan Adoption Programme for the public to adopt an orangutan. An individual can adopt an orangutans for one year by contributing RM200. Corporate adoption starts from RM10,000 per year. Proceeds from the adoption programme are used to fund conservation activities, particularly orangutan conservation.

Besides the Orangutan Adoption Programme, there is also the ‘Heart2Heart with Orangutans’ Programme at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and Matang Wildlife Centre that gives participants

hands-on experience in orangutan husbandry and rehabilitation.