Established in 1964, the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is dedicated to the protection of orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations, illegal hunting operations and private trade. Trained and rehabilitated in the hope of reintroduction into the wild, these wonderful animals are not meant to just be tourist attractions, but they do tend to draw a crowd.
Located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve (much of which remains virgin forest), Sepilok is home to as many as 80 orangutans at any given time. It is also one of the hottest tourist attractions in the state of Sabah.
The animals (including long-tailed macaques) are fed milk and bananas twice a day: at 10am and 3pm by rangers. Visitors are invited to approach a viewing area near the feeding platform via a boardwalk.
While rehabilitation is the primary goal at Sepilok, there is also special emphasis placed on public education regarding conservation, research and preservation of other endangered species such as the rhinoceros.
The facility is accessible by bus and taxi, but it is advisable to avail yourself of one of the many tour packages that are available. Many of these include visits to the hilltop Puh Jih Shih Buddhist Temple and special flights that feature breathtaking views over Sandakan Bay.
Hours of operation are 8am – 5pm daily, with varying hours for ticketing, reception and special exhibitions. Admission is nominal (just a few dollars and less for students) and there is a special fee charged for the use of cameras, camcorders, camera phones, etc.