Five abandoned, injured orangutans rescued
SANDAKAN - A total of five orangutans that have been abandoned by their mothers or suffered injuries have been rescued and relocated to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, this year.
However, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Lew said there were no cases recorded involving orangutans being illegally hunted or rescued from becoming pets for the past three years.
"This year, the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre received five orangutans that have been rescued as they were abandoned by their mothers, suffered injuries and were found in the forests.
"This situation indicates that wildlife crimes involving orangutans in Sabah are at zero levels and the rehabilitation centre is now more focused on operations to rescue these animals due to natural reasons, conflicts and habitat loss," she said during her speech at the Caring Week 2023 celebration at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre here yesterday.
Her speech text was read by Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.
Lew in her speech urged stakeholders to monitor the presence of orangutans in nearby habitats to assist the department in its orangutan conservation efforts.
"I sincerely hope that wildlife crimes involving orangutans will continue to remain at zero levels and I hope that the public will assist the department in reducing incidents of orangutans being bitten by dogs and spreading awareness messages to collectively protect Sabah's natural heritage," she said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the programme, she said various activities have been conducted including awareness campaigns and exposure about the lives of orangutans in the state.
"The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre has organised various activities for eight days to enhance visitors' awareness.
"The programme was held at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Kota Kinabatangan which is located near the orangutan habitat in Kinabatangan on Nov 16.
"The implementation of this programme is to instill love for wildlife among elementary school students," she said.