Overview

Orangutan Project Sdn Bhd is a conservation company offering alternative solutions and sustainable funding opportunities for the endangered wildlife on Borneo. We also specialise in ethical volunteering and tourism experiences working with the magnificent orangutan and other protected species such as the clouded leopard, binturong, sun bear and false gharial, among others.

Tourism and volunteering in developing countries with endangered wildlife is littered with ethical problems and exploitative practices, though is attracting participants that are seeking a meaningful experience where they are able to help animals. We have chosen to focus on developing tourism and volunteering projects as one of our facets, not only for the significant revenue we can generate for conservation but also to create a standard of ethical tourism that we hope to see become the norm across the tourism market.

cleaning

We are based on Borneo, predominantly in Matang Wildlife Centre which is close to Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia. However we also spend a significant amount of time in Ketapang, which is in Kalimantan, the Indonesia part of Borneo. Orangutan Project is a Malaysian company created by Leo Biddle, though owned by our local staff.

All of our Western staff are volunteers in the truest sense of the word. They receive no salaries or benefits, though will generally have living expenses met. One of our goals is to maximise employment of local staff, and we do not wish for foreign staff to occupy positions and take salaries that can be given to local people. Our Western staff are incredibly dedicated individuals who care passionately about trying to make the lives of animals better. They ask for nothing in return for this and we believe this is what it takes to truly make a difference – a disregard of the materialistic and consumerist Western culture and willingness to simply do a job that desperately needs doing, for no real recognition and no financial remuneration.

Anybody can help the cause of endangered animals – the truth is most people want some level of recognition or reward for doing so. Our Western team is simply willing to help, and to do whatever is necessary for progression of our projects. They are making sacrifices every day to be on Borneo fulfilling these roles, and they are making a difference.

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Cuddle an Orang the ethical way!

Help fund our work with this soft Orangutan toy - £17+postage.

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Testimonials

  • I've been every year since 2009 and will continue to visit every year until I become too old and doddery to get on a plane. The most life changing experiences of my life!!
    Elaine
  • In the past 2 weeks I've done more than I ever thought possible. I've helped with enrichment and husbandry at Matang Wildlife Centre with orangutans, sun bears, gibbons and many others. Seen flying lemers glide, wild pigs run on the beach, sunsets like no other, been bitten by a leech, mixed cement by hand, carried wheel barrow after wheel barrow and shovelled so much s*?it I'm considering adding it to skills on my c.v. I've learnt so much and it's been a truly life changing experience and to top it off I've met some amazing people! I'll be back Borneo! Volunteered April 2016
    Jade Galley
  • "My 4 weeks at Matang not only achieved a life long dream for me, but also helped me mature and grow in confidence. "
    Sophie, UK
  • "Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences".
    Tessa, AU
  • "You will be surprised by how much you are capable of and you will inspire your friends back home to follow their dreams too".
    Carlene, NZ

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A few parting words from one of our April #volunteers Margaux Pfau:
"What an experience... Living those last weeks in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by this gorgeous vegetation. Working everyday with incredible animals, from the amazing Orangs to the cuties Slow Loris, the beautiful Clouded Leopards, Sun Bears and so many others ... I will never forget this powerful #volunteering, I learned so much by living in such a peaceful place with nothing but nature. I'm also really glad that I shared this experience with an awesome volunteers team and the most benevolent staff I've ever met! I wish the best for Matang Wildlife Center, who's just doing a remarkable work full of love and passion with the endangered animals. Goodbye Borneo, my heart belongs to you and the fantastic wildlife you have ❤"

Thanks Margaux, hope to see you here again in the future :)
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We have been reluctant to post photos of this orangutan, as we are aware that cute photos of baby orphans often inspire a lot of love, which is wonderful, and also a lot of the "you are SO lucky, I would just LOVE to be able to cuddle him" sentiment. Please remember that for humans to cuddle baby orangutan, either mothers have been killed, babies have been forcibly removed (in some zoos animals will be forced to breed just to provide babies for photo ops for tourists) or in rare cases like this, a traumatic separation has occurred and just 2 or 3 humans will be responsible for the infant's care. Please NEVER pay for a photo opportunity with wildlife babies, wherever you are.

As you'll remember, the #orangutan Ting San unexpectedly gave birth at Matang in early March. Unfortunately, after less than 2 weeks it became clear that she wasn't feeding her baby and he was slowly starving, so we had to intervene and take him from her, with HUGE regret and sorrow. This could be due to Ting San's start in life, as she was kept as an illegal pet and treated very much like a human baby, as far as we know spending no formative time with her mum in a natural setting.

The baby needed quite intensive care for a few days as he was very malnourished and dehydrated and only weighed 1kg. In the last few weeks he has more than doubled in weight and is now looking like a healthy baby orangutan.

Ting San has showed very little interest in him when we have brought him into the orangutan area, and as it is very unlikely she will be producing enough milk now to feed him (and also unlikely that she would show any interest in doing so again) so we have him in our care for the time being. We will keep you updated on his progress!

(If you would like to hug the orangutan that the baby is hugging, you can find these plush toys in our shop!)
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A big thanks to all the #volunteers who helped build this new pond the #sunbears are LOVING it! ...