Monday, April 26, 2010

The Great Apes of Semenggoh and Matang

Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Matang Wildlife Center rehabilitate confiscated orangutans that have been in prolonged human captivity. Once nursed back to health, they are released into the protected forest reserves to live semi-wild, where they forage naturally for food. These Orangutans will often not appear, as long as they have food in the forest. They will remain unseen unless you to see one whilst on a trek. Chances of seeing them are higher when food is scarce.
During our visit, we had the pleasure of seeing Richie at Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and Aman and George at the Matang Wildlife Center.
The alpha male of Semenggoh, Richie is over 30 years old. He has been rehabilitated into the wild but returns to visit from time to time.
Aman (23) was rescued from a market in Sarawak in 1989, had been kept at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. During this time, he suffered two serious accidents. He bit through an electric cable and had to have his tongue removed. He also developed blinding cataracts in both eyes as a result, which left him blind for almost 10 years. Aman also lost his left index finger, which it was bitten off by another orangutan.
He was moved subsequently moved to the Matang Wildlife Centre at the end of 2000. In 2007, Aman became the first orangutan to successfully undergo cataract removal operation on both his eyes.
George (28) like Aman was from Semenggoh. He was moved to Matang after Richie made it clear that George was no longer welcome there, they had had a massive fight.

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