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
"Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences".
"Yes, it's hard work, but the satisfaction you get from knowing you are helping to make a difference in these animals' lives makes it all worthwhile."
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!!
"...The whole experience was amazing, the keepers were so friendly and taught us so much about the animals... It was one of the best experiences of my life and would do it again."
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 :) ...
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!) ...