Nov 26, 2016 – Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre & Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre


Photo by Ranah Chavoshi (

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We checked into the Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat Hostel and were very impressed! You truly are in the middle of the forest, with mosquito nets over your bed. The food is great, the staff are pleasant, and they drive you to several attractions for free! We even got watermelon as part of our free breakfast!

The orang-utan feedings are at 10:00am and 3:00pm so we went to both! During the first feeding we witnessed a mother orang-utan and her 6 month old baby eat the bounty of fruits and vegetables that were provided on a small platform. She was also joined by several macaque monkeys (who were actually stealing the food).

Then we went to the sun bear sanctuary!! They are the smallest bears in the world, about the size of a dog, and extremely adorable! I can definitely see the appeal of having one as a pet (which is very very illegal). Sun bears have been rescued and live out the remainder of their lives at the sanctuary. In captivity they can live up to 40 years.

After seeing about 5 sun bears eat, climb, walk, and play-fight. We returned to the Orang-Utan Sanctuary to watch the second feeding.

It was raining and thundering… it actually felt like that scene out of Jurassic Park where the kids are waiting for the tyrannosaurus rex to eat the goat… except bananas and other fruits were left on a platform. After about 20 minutes a mother and baby came along to enjoy the nutritious snack.

Then another one arrived, and another one with its baby. The rain lessened a bit. Then one orang-utan swung onto the watching platform and walkway where all the people where! I was literally an arm’s length away from an Orang-Utan!! It was also somewhat scary because they have incredible strength. Good thing the staff where there to control the situation and ensure everyone was safe. The orang-utan calmly walked away.

It was amazing to have such a close encounter!


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