Thursday, 9 April 2015

Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island

The Resort

This was our second visit to Orang Utan Island. One arrives at Bukit Merah Laketown and then catches the boat from the marina to the refuge a short distance away.

Today, there were few people there: just us, a single man and a family joined us.

Alighting from the boat at the island we were met by a tiny Malay lady who walked us through an extended ‘cage’way. Here, the people are inside the cage while the beautiful animals live freely outside. Our guide's English was good enough but when we indicated that we could speak Malay our conversations deepened and we learned so much more about the orang utans. 

Sadly, we learned that enormous Mike, whom we had seen and loved in 2010 had passed away two years ago and a life-size replica of him had been erected in the cageway. He was 37.

We also rediscovered Jadin who was a baby-in-nappies in 2010. This brought back splendid memories for us. He had become a naughty 4 year old who played hide-and-seek with us. And as well there were Carlos, Adam, June and others… 20 in total, all Sarawak-variety orang utans.

What’s more we learned that Sumatran and Bornean orang utans cannot be allowed to interbreed because their progeny die or are disabled at birth. 

We have visited Orang Utan Island twice during our many trips to Malaysia. It is close to the city of Taiping in Perak. The administrators of the Island clearly love their charges who have free range of their island home.

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