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Wild Orangutans?

Chicago, Illinois
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75 posts
129 reviews
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Wild Orangutans?

There are a lot of web pages talking about seeing wild orangutans but no real confirmation from any travelers about actually having seen any other than at the rehabilitation centers. I know animals do not appear on command but does anyone actually know if there is any success whatsoever on these boat tours in Sabah or elsewhere on Borneo for seeing really wild orangs? I don't really care for animal encounters that are scripted by humans. I would like to see them in their natural setting if that exists. Does anyone have any positive experiences anywhere on Borneo that fit this description??? Thanks!

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Sabah
Sabah
Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu
Destination Expert
for Sabah
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2,280 posts
113 reviews
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1. Re: Wild Orangutans?

Hi,

I did saw one during my boat ride along the Kinabatagan River, he was on top on a pretty tall tree.

Tampere, Finland
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15 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Wild Orangutans?

We saw wild orangutans at Kinabatangan river and at Tabin Wildlife reserve area. Great places both:)

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Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River
340 Reviews
Sabah, Malaysia
Port Stephens...
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638 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Wild Orangutans?

We too saw an orangutan in the wild whilst on our kinabatangan boat trip.

I would say though don't dismiss sepilok on the basis of your perception of wild. Our experience there was nothing short of amazing. The animals here are free they are not captive. They have been rehabilitated after being rescued from various situations. Some have even been born here so are technically wild

Enjoy your trip

Cuneo, Italy
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for Koh Tao, Bangkok, Ko Samui, Terengganu
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4. Re: Wild Orangutans?

I saw an adult wild orangutan few years ago behind the restaurant of The Last Frontier Resort at Kinabatangan River, wonderful experience!

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Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River
340 Reviews
Sabah, Malaysia
Chicago, Illinois
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75 posts
129 reviews
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5. Re: Wild Orangutans?

Thanks for the feedback. I guess I will go ahead and travel to the Kinabatangan river area and see if I have the same good luck as some of the people who responded to my post. I will also stop by the rehabilitation center as well. Thanks!

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Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River
340 Reviews
Sabah, Malaysia
Liverpool, United...
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185 posts
86 reviews
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6. Re: Wild Orangutans?

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think you need to consider and learn about some conservation issues before you go Orang spotting.

It is extremely rare to see them in their natural envioronment from boat rides etc for a reason. There aren't many of them and their habitats are shrinking. Every tourist going yomping through the jungle in search of them to 'see them in the wild' can do untold harm, as their habitats need to be protected.

If you want to see these amazing animals I strongly suggest heading to the rehab centre in Kuching, where you MAY still catch a glimpse of semi wild Orangs at feeding times as they are being rehabilitated back into the wild. These ARE wild Orangs in their natural envioronment. If you are lucky enough to see them then you can be reasured that you have seen them in their natural envioronment whilst supporting their conservation instead of being a typical tourist who does more harm than good in their search for a good photo op.

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Kuching
Kuching
Sarawak, Malaysia
Chicago, Illinois
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75 posts
129 reviews
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7. Re: Wild Orangutans?

No offense, but obviously you do not keep up with prevailing thought concerning conservation. Actually, tourism to see endangered species is what keeps many of these animals from going extinct. When local people can find a way to value (and profit) from the species that live around them, they have a stake in keeping them alive. I can't believe you don't already know this...especially since you want to make your opinion known to the internet community.

Liverpool, United...
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185 posts
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8. Re: Wild Orangutans?

Conservation tourism, when done in the CORRECT way, CAN be a boon to conservation efforts I completely agree. I have worked with many NGO's in the past to do just that. And yes I completely agree that partnership with local communities is an essential part of this.

However, within that there are a) so many communities doing more harm than good in the name of profit through either a lack of education or pure greed, and b) so many more naive tourists who are ready to pay wads of cash to go on a package tour or boat tour to - in your words - 'see them in their natural setting if that exists'. These are usually the same people who want a nice profile pic for their social media of them cuddling a little baby animal!

In that respect what you are asking for is in no way 'keeping up with prevailing thought on conservation.'

The best thing for these animals is to be left alone in their natural environment. Or do you really think that hordes of tourists crashing through their habitat in the hopes of 'seeing them in their natural environment' is a good thing? If you want to see an Orang Utan but truly support the conservation efforts then the best way to do that is by visiting the rehab centre near Kuching for example. This is not an appearance 'scripted by humans' but a chance to view a feeding time as they are being slowly introduced back into the wild. There is a good chance you will see one, but it is never guaranteed.

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Kuching
Kuching
Sarawak, Malaysia
Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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9. Re: Wild Orangutans?

The people who operate along the Kinabatangan River rely on the wild environment to sell their product. I have been there and I would never describe what occurs as "crashing through their habit". I can assure you that no tourist gets to "cuddle' a baby Orang U Tan. If you want to complain about what is happening to the habitat get stuck into the operators of the palm oil plantations that continue to infringe more and more into the habitat.

Edited: 20 December 2013, 03:21
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Kinabatangan River
Kinabatangan River
340 Reviews
Sabah, Malaysia
Sandakan, Malaysia
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49 posts
31 reviews
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10. Re: Wild Orangutans?

Dont blame operators of palm oil plantation. Blame on the politicians who are selling reserved lands under the table for huge profits.. Who gives a damn about orang utans when the chief minister is filthy rich right