Orangutan Project’s journey over the years has taken a few turns. After establishing a truly responsible volunteering project at Matang Wildlife Centre and showing that this project could sustainably fund the running costs for the animals living there, it became time to reflect on what we want to achieve moving forwards. Helping the animals currently […]

Anyone who has volunteered at Matang over the last eight years will be aware of the problem with macaques, in particular long tailed macaques, at the centre but also in the geographical area at large. Though Westerners often look forward to and seek out interactions with these monkeys when travelling to Asia, they are a […]

Anyone who has volunteered at Matang over the last 5-6 years will have seen the daily excursions of Matang’s youngest orangutan to the forest. This is not an activity that volunteers take part in or observe, but during the morning husbandry routines it has been common to see the local keepers leading the young animals […]

It’s been a big month of highs and lows for the macaques and gibbons housed in the quarantine area of Matang Wildlife Centre. In late 2015, Orangutan Project received permission to begin castrations on both long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques. We have been wanting to do this after long acknowledging that many of the macaques we […]

Through March and April, Orangutan Project have been hosting the Tree Monkey Project – an American based non-profit organisation, bringing the art of tree-climbing to people that need the skill around the world. The creator of the Tree Monkey Project, James Reed, joined us as a volunteer on our project in Ketapang a couple of […]

A little over six months ago Orangutan Project staff decided to take the plunge into the world of hen care-giving and we haven’t looked back! As an organisation we are primarily focused on the conservation and care of endangered wildlife on Borneo. However, as people who care about animals we strive as individuals as well […]

Though we are called Orangutan Project, as a group we are motivated to help conservation efforts for and improve the welfare of any animal species that it may be within our capabilities to do so. We strongly feel that all conservation and welfare issues are intricately linked, and that for there to be any hope […]

One of the centres where we work currently houses 47 macaques – 30 of these are long-tailed, the remaining 17 are pig-tailed. On arrival at the centre many of our volunteers are quite rightly very upset about the plight of the macaques and can find the reality of the situation to be quite confronting. Orangutan […]

As many of you will have no doubt seen through other media releases, the poorly sun bear that was surrendered to Matang a few weeks ago died. It was quite an ordeal to get her to Matang as she was first sighted in January but not able to be caught until March, and she was […]

This month saw the youngest orangutan at Matang enjoy another week’s camping trip into the national park. The aim of these trips is to allow the youngsters to further acclimatise to the rainforest environment, and to realise that the trees are a fine place to bed down for the night. One orangutan having no such […]

Over the last two years we have been developing our organic fruit and vegetable farm with the objective of producing a significant percentage of the food required for the animals ourselves. As a conservation organisation we are obviously not in the business of converting the rainforest to farmland, so we purchased a plot outside the […]

At the end of January this year, a disturbing video was shared through news and social media channels of a sun bear, obviously suffering from extreme malnutrition and other possible ailments, being frightened away from workers on a palm oil plantation near Sibu in Sarawak. Though a team was sent to the area to try […]

We recently posted a video of two of the sun bears at one of the centres we work at meeting each other for their first play date. Most responses to the video were very positive from volunteers who know the bears and were happy that the introduction was a huge success. However, we also received […]

We are constantly amazed by the generosity of our volunteers and supporters. We are so appreciative of this support that we are hesitant to ask for extra items as we feel that our network of supporters already contribute so much. However, many people have requested that we make a wish list so that if they […]

Matang is currently holding two adult slow lorises in the quarantine area, in purpose-built cages in a small forested area to reduce stress for the animals (see our blog for information about these cages). Unfortunately, this is a fairly common species that Matang receives, in part due to the popularity of this animal in illegal […]

In September this year Matang received two infant silver leaf monkeys, or silver langurs, that had been surrendered from illegal pet trade. This is not a common species that we receive at Matang, probably because this leaf-eating monkey is incredibly difficult to successfully wean in isolation from con-specifics. To digest their adult diet of leaves, […]

This month was a happy one for BFF gibbon duo Sibu and Sibau who moved out of quarantine into the outdoor enclosures next to their new female neighbour, Among. For the last few years, Orangutan Project has hosted volunteer groups from the Orangutan Species Survival Program in association with the AZA in the USA. These […]

All of the bear species around the world are documented as being solitary animals in the wild, and sun bears are no exception. However, this does not always mean that the species is inherently anti-social. Social structures of wild animals are often formed on account of external environmental pressures, rather than simply the personal preference […]

During routine orangutan husbandry this week, a slight error (!) led to Ohm wandering out the front door of his cage, pounding through the roof of the orang dens and climbing along the wall of the sun bear enclosure to have a little look at the forest. Since his arrival to the centre back in […]

One of the most important jobs our volunteers complete at the centres where we work is enrichment for the animals that are resident. Enrichment can take a long time to craft, and in some cases can be hard work to install – for centres whose staff and resources are already stretched, a good volunteering project […]

Matang Wildlife Centre is currently the only centre on Borneo that opens its doors to all protected wildlife species in need. This makes the potential of Matang to be a conservation tool for endangered species almost unlimited – however it also presents a huge challenge as it is almost impossible to be adequately informed about […]

One of the many positive aspects of a well-managed volunteering project is the financial contribution that can be made thanks to the money that people pay to participate as a volunteer. As of February 2014, we have spent over $1 million at Matang, where we have been working the longest. Pretty awesome really! For many […]

A common question we are asked by people who are interested in joining a volunteering project is: “Will I get to have contact/play/be hands on with any of the animals on the project?” The simple answer to this is “no”, which can sometimes be a disappointment to the enquirer. The media and charities, particularly surrounding […]

At welcome dinners for new groups of volunteers, Leo and I are often asked; ‘So, what other animals do you have at Matang?’ After answering this a few times now, I have come to the realisation that there is no easy way to describe a binturong to someone that has not encountered one before. ‘Well, […]

To the unknowing spectator, the photo attached looks like some tree roots in a bare, bear enclosure. However, contained within is something rather rare in Matang’s daily routine – there is a female sun bear taking care of her teeny bear cub. This is Gabby’s (named for sun bear researcher Gabriella Fredriksson) third attempt at […]

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Testimonials

  • 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
  • "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
  • "Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences".
    Tessa, AU
  • "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
  • 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

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Young #orangutan Maria has been doing a little bit of timeshare of Aman's enclosure and loving it. Here she is taking in the sights and sounds and generally enjoying having an explore of a spacious enclosure. ...

Our last #ecotour consisted of three ladies from the Healing Animals Organisation in the UK. They brought some essential oils with them and we did scent #enrichment for many of the animals at the centre. The #orangutans and #sunbears absolutely loved the new smells and the scent enrichment session prompted lots of play and general merriment. Thank you ladies :) ...