Wildlife Rescue Unit Collaboration

Wru Team

The Wildlife Rescue Unit is a totally independent organisation that has been rescuing wildlife in Sabah for the past 9 years. Their team is made up of 18 rangers and 3 veterinarians. The WRU works with the Sabah Wildlife Department but it is a separate entity and its rangers and veterinarians are not employed by the government.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) was established in 2010 in response to the increasing need to rescue and translocate injured or displaced animals in Sabah.

It is important that injured wildlife are rescued in order to treat them, so that they can be released back into protected rainforest reserves once recovered, and be able to survive in the wild. It is also essential that wildlife that has strayed into towns or farm land, or are trapped in small pockets of forest that is no longer suitable, are relocated to a more suitable habitat.

Since its inception, the WRU have rescued and/or translocated nearly 3,000 animals, including orangutans, elephants, proboscis monkeys, macaques, birds, sun bears, clouded leopards, sea turtles, snakes and crocodiles, as well as many other species.


In September 2018 Orangutan Appeal UK pledged RM1 Million (£185,000) to help fund the essential work of the Wildlife Rescue Unit. OAUK's Founder and Chairperson Susan Sheward presented the Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, with a cheque for RM1 million, which was reported countrywide in the papers and on national television. (pictured left). The chief minister expressed his gratitude to Susan and Orangutan Appeal UK for all their help in protecting Sabah's Wildlife.

WRU Vehicles

In June 2019, Susan Sheward fulfilled her earlier pledge and presented 3 new, fully modified rescue vehicles in a special ceremony for the Wildlife Rescue Unit to use to carry out their vital work.

Two members of our local staff were seconded for 18 months to work alongside the WRU assisting with the orphaned Bornean Pygmy elephants at Sepilok and helping to manage the reduction of human-elephant conflict in the region. By having the two teams work alongside each other has allowed a sharing of years’ worth of knowledge and expertise which is vital for conserving the wildlife of Sabah.

Click on the links to read some of the latest WRU updates:

October 2018 WRU Update

August 2018 WRU Update

Supporting the Wildlife Rescue Unit in Sabah is just one of the many ways we help orangutan conservation. If you would like to support this and other projects that we run, you can donate to the charity by visiting our Donations Page. Thank you.