Naru Taste of Freedom

In August 2007 we received notification that three juveniles were ready to be released into the Kabili forest reserve which surrounds the Sepilok Centre. The previous release at Sepilok in March 2006 had encountered difficulties so it was felt that it would be advantageous to set up a tracking team to keep an eye on these youngsters until they were established in the reserve. Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) gave authority for the Project to go ahead and Jon Levell, who has worked for the Forestry Commission in Wales for many years, was assigned by the Appeal to act as Team Leader.

Aman Before

Orangutan Appeal UK funds world first

Orangutan Appeal UK has made history by funding the world’s first cataract operation on a mature male orangutan. Aman, a 19 year old dominant male orangutan, became the centre of attention when he underwent a bilateral cataract surgery in Sarawak, Borneo. This type of operation has never been performed on an orangutan before making it a world first! Orangutan Appeal UK working in partnership with the conservation organisation the Great Orangutan Project, a coalition of local initiatives, funded all of the costs of the operation, to the tune of £2700, and Dr Venter, the operating ophthalmologist, and Dr Frik Stegmann, the anaesthetist, generously donated their services - making this amazing feat possible.

Tabin Research Update

The plight of the Orangutan is currently high priority worldwide and is at the centre of conservation efforts which are being made to stop deforestation and ease its effects on global worming. Top ecologists predict that the orangutan will be extinct in the wild within 10 - 12 years if drastic measures are not taken now to save this great ape and its habitat.

Sheena Working

Research project update - the Tabin project

Phase 2 of the post monitoring release project started in March this year with a new group of recently released juvenile orangutans. The aim of the research is to find out how well the rehabilitation process works and if it provides the rehabilitated orangutans with the skills necessary to live wild in the forest and if we need to make any adjustments These individuals do not know the Kabili reserve, the forest which surrounds Sepilok, and everything is new to them. Those who cope well with their release are destined to spend their lives in the remote and unspoilt reserve of Tabin, which is twice the size of Singapore and far from human habitation – in fact just perfect and will give us great insight into the ability of our rehabilitated orangutans

Boxing Orangutan

Boxing Orangutans to be returned to Indonesia

Thanks to the many thousands of Sepilok Orangutan Appeal UKs supporters around the globe, the long and arduous campaign to have the boxing orangutans being held at Safari World in Thailand returned to their Indonesian home has finally ended in triumph. Safari World is a popular tourist attraction which up until recently illegally held orangutans, which were trained to perform in a boxing ring – complete with outfit and gloves. The Sepilok Orangutan Appeal UK joined forces with Nature Alert in an attempt to stop this abuse and get the Thai Government to agree to these apes being repatriated.

Jomius Releasing Youngsters

Six released into reserve

Monday 20th March 2006 started off as a normal day for a group of 6 orangutans at Sepilok, but this was no ordinary day, this was the day that they were going to be finally released back into the wild in the Kabili reserve which surrounds the centre. Tobby, Kimbol, Suzanna, Brock, Tompong and Annalisa have been resident at Sepilok for different lengths of time, but they all share a too familiar story of tragedy and loss which resulted in them being brought to the centre. This was the day though where their stories moved onto the next chapter, a new life awaited them in the forest.

Vip Tour 2005

Education / awareness tour

In October we ran our second VIP Tour of the UK. Unfortunately, Mr Laurentius, the Deputy Director of Wildlife, had to cancel at the last moment due to his wife’s ill health. We were delighted to have his Deputy, Jum Raphia, step into his place and along with Dr Sen they gave some brilliant presentations and made the tour a roaring success.

Keeper Exchange

Keeper exchange

During the awareness tour in 2004, our VIPs visited Twycross Zoo where they gave a presentation of the work being carried out in Sabah to save the orangutans. Dr Sen was very complimentary about the standards of care provided to the apes in the zoo’s care and the Appeal began investigating the possibility of a “Keeper Exchange Programme” between Twycross and Sepilok – this was to be yet another “first”!

New Sickbay

A new sick bay

It's is over 18 months since the Appeal refurbished the night nursery and provided a new quarantine ward for the Centre and it was time for us to sit down and decide what else was needed to improve the orphans chance of survival and eventual return to the wild. The question was answered very quickly – a sick bay!


Misouri released

Misouri arrived at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in 1997 aged approx 14 or 15 years old. He was a wild born male who had wondered onto a local plantation and was at risk of being shot for crop raiding. In /Sabah the law allows land owners and farmers to protect their property, even if that means shooting an endangered species of animal to do so.

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