The Great Orangutan Project
This multi award-winning orangutan project, based in the Matang Wildlife Centre, focusses on the conservation and protection of Borneo's most fascinating and enchanting species – the orangutan.
Due to mass deforestation, mining and forest fires, the habitat of the area's orangutans is depleting and under constant threat. As a consequence, the species is increasingly endangered. The Matang Wildlife Centre is a refuge for orangutans which have been left injured, orphaned or have been rescued, usually as a direct result of these threats. The centre works tirelessly to reverse this trend in a number of ways, and is thoroughly enriched by the involvement of volunteers.
Volunteers on this project enjoy the incredible rainforest surroundings of Kubah National Park as their own backyard, and work as part of a team alongside the local facilitators to aid the centre through improving husbandry standards, providing enrichment for the orangutans and assisting with construction tasks around the centre. This allows the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (who manage the centre which is owned by the Sarawak government) to concentrate on rehabilitation of the orangutans and the centre's other animals, and thus further their conservation.
Taking part in this orangutan volunteer project allows volunteers to actively participate in the efforts of this impressive Matang Wildlife Centre and its fantastic team, helping to improve the lives of the orangutans and work towards their future protection.
Helpful Project Information
Volunteers on this project will engage in a wide variety of activities as part of the project, mainly consisting of husbandry for the orangutans, sun bears, macaques, binturongs and other animals, including feeding and enrichment techniques which promote natural behaviours, enhance the potential for rehabilitation to release, and improve captive animal welfare.
A major part of this project is creating enrichment. This promotes natural behaviours and will enhance the potential for rehabilitation to release as well as improve the lives of the animals at the centre.
Another big part of the work on this project is husbandry for the orangutans, sun bears, macaques, binturongs and other animals. This will includes feeding the animals and cleaning the wildlife cages and enclosures.
Maintenance and Construction
Maintenance and construction are on-going tasks at the centre, and always require volunteers to help out. Past volunteers have been involved with the building of aviaries, gibbon cages, feeding platforms in the forest, boardwalks around the park and ranger stations in the national park. There is always work to be done!
Over the past few years volunteers have helped create an organic farm to grow food for the animals at the centre to enable it to become a more sustainable institution.
We are determined for our farm to remain organic. Though many people keep recommending a whole host of chemicals for keeping the weeds at bay, we shall continue to rely on the brute force of the volunteers to keep it under control.
It is definitely a realisable dream to have orangutan centres organically growing all the food they need to keep their animals alive and healthy. Tending to the farm has, therefore, become a regular job for our volunteers.
There are additional activities available such as visiting a long-house, meeting the Iban tribes, visiting nearby markets and social and interactive activities with locals and researchers whilst staying at the Matang Wildlife Centre.
The working week is Monday to Friday and you will have weekends off. For many people, this will be a once in a lifetime trip to Borneo and volunteers generally take advantage of the weekends to explore the surrounding area - including Kubah National Park and Damai Beach.
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
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