PADAWAN: Championing conservation of orang utans is not a job for the conservationists or Semenggoh Wildlife Centre officials alone, but an effort that should involve the surrounding community.
Thus, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) Sdn Bhd CEO Zolkipli Mohamad Aton wants to see more participation from the immediate community.
He made the remark when speaking during the Semenggoh Double Celebration at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre yesterday.
The event was organised to celebrate Mas, a male baby orang utan born last year on Sept 16, as well as Malaysia Day.
Zolkipli said that this will be an annual event to instil awareness and stronger appreciation towards one of Sarawak’s totally protected wildlife.
“Community empowerment is part and parcel of our park’s management. I congratulate the Semenggoh team for their proactive initiative involving the local community through the Special Park Committee in conservation efforts.”
Similarly, he also expressed thanks to the local community of the Penrissen-Padawan area of Semenggoh for their show of support in making the event a success.
Also present at the event were SFC manager Oswald Braken Tisen and other senior officials.
Journalist James Ritchie was also present to donate a painting of his namesake ‘Ritchie’ to the park.
In conjunction with the celebration, there was a ‘Walk-a-thon’ donation drive with the theme ‘Walk with Pride for the Orangutans’.
At the same time, Semenggoh gave visitors the opportunity to adopt their favourite orang utan with 22 adopters and RM4,400 raised.
While entrance was free yesterday, visitors were encouraged to donate to the Sarawak Conservation Fund with RM400 collected.
Anyone who wishes to adopt the Malaysia Day orang utan ‘Mas’ can still do so at the park shop for an adoption fee of RM200.
You can also adopt any other orang utan via their official website at http://semenggoh.my.
The fund received a total of RM17,560.75 in adoption fees from January to September this year.