Run Because You Care
The “International Run For Orangutan 2018” event was chosen to commemorate the International Orangutan Awareness week campaign celebrated every year. The main objective of this event is to create awareness on the plight of the critically endangered orangutans as well as a caring society towards our environment and wildlife – being that Sandakan is world-class known for the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre – the first established and the oldest rehabilitation center in the world.
Harbour Mall Sandakan and Fay’s Studio the main organizer for this run in collaboration with Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilatation Centre hope that more participants will come forward not only for the love of running but also because you care. This run is the first in Borneo probably the first in the world as International that carries the name of Orangutan because we care and we want the nations to know how important it is to help this mammals.
We are proud to announce that part of the proceeds from the run will be contributed towards the care of the orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary
Close to the city of Sandakan at a nearby the small town of Sepilok, you will find Sandakan's biggest (and Sabah's 2nd biggest) tourist attraction; Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC). The rehabilitation center was founded in 1964 with the aim of returning orphaned, injured or displaced orangutans into the wild. The ground where the rehabilitation centre is located is part of the 4,300-hectare Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre falls under the administration of the Wildlife Department of Sabah.
Have you always dreamt about a close encounter with an orangutan? At this centre you're able to see the orangutans in their rehabilitation programs. At Sepilok the orangutans are divided in groups. The most independent ones are released in the wild after a certain period of time; you can watch them during feeding-time. Today up to 75 orangutans are roaming freely in the reserve. Sepilok is considered by the Wildlife Department to be a useful educational tool with which to educate both the locals and visitors.
In Malay and Indonesian orang means "person" and utan is derived from hutan, which means forest. Orangutan literally means "person of the forest."
Orangutans are great apes, as opposed to monkeys, and are closely related to humans, having 97% of DNA in common. Orangutans are extremely patient and intelligent mammals. They are very observant and inquisitive
Height: males - about 1.5m; females - about 1.2m
Weight: males - 93 to 130 kg; females – 48 to 55 kg
Life Span: 60 years or more
Gestation: about 8.5 months
Number of Young at Birth: usually 1, very rarely 2
Extinction in the wild is likely in the next 10 years for Sumatran orangutans and soon after for Bornean orangutans. Both the Sumatran species (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean species (Pongo pygmaeus) are classified as Critically Endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red
List of Threatened Species.
In the wild orangutan babies stay with their mothers for up to six years while they are taught the skills they need to survive in the forest, the most important of which is climbing. At Sepilok a buddy system is used to replace a mother’s teaching. A younger ape will be paired up with an older one to help them to develop the skills they need.
Orangutans live on only two islands, Borneo and northern Sumatra. They are a relic species. At the end of the Pleistocene period some 12,000 years ago, their range was much wider, encompassing southern China, Indochina, Java and southern Sumatra. The species is now extinct in all these regions.
The Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans rainforest habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate due to deforestation, with the remaining forest degraded by drought and forest fires.
The creation of reserve areas minimises the impact of deforestation on orangutans and far fewer young apes become the victim of the illegal pet trade as a result of these ‘sanctuaries’. Babies are often caught during logging or forest clearance or captured by poachers who slaughter the adult apes to reach them. The Malaysian Government has clamped down on illegal trading, outlawing all such practice and imposing prison sentences on anyone caught keeping them as pets.
Youngsters kept in captivity often become sick or suffer neglect which in some cases extends to cruelty. Whilst some of the orangutans raised as pets can never be returned to the wild, others can be rehabilitated; it is a long and expensive process, taking up to seven years but one centres such as Sepilok take on without question.
Orangutans arms stretch out longer than their bodies - over two metres from fingertip to fingertip - and are used to employ a "hookgrip". When on the ground, they walk on all fours, using their palms or their fists. When male orangutans reach maturity, they develop large cheek pads, which female orangutans apparently find attractive.
When males are fighting, they charge at each other and break branches. If that doesn't scare one of them away, they grapple and bite each other. For the first 4-6 years of his/her life, an infant orangutan holds tight to his/her mother's body as she moves through the forest in search of fruit. Like humans, orangutans have opposable thumbs. Their big toes are also opposable.
Orangutans have tremendous strength, which enables them to swing from branch to branch and hang upside-down from branches for long periods of time to retrieve fruit and eat young leaves.
Orangutans have the most intense relationship between mother and young of any non-human mammal. Mothers carry their offspring for the first five years, and may suckle them for six or seven years. For the first eight years of a young orangutans life, its mother is its constant companion. Until another infant is born, mothers sleep in a nest with their offspring every night.
Orangutans have the longest birth interval of any mammal. In Borneo, they give birth on average once every eight years. In Sumatra, some females may only give birth once every 10 years. Females often do not breed until the age of 17. If adult females are killed, the population takes a long time to recover.
The massive destruction of the orangutans habitat – the tropical rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra – is catastrophic. We are working to save the species and its habitat, but the forces arrayed against the orangutan are so formiddable that perhaps, if we (and they) are lucky, just one or two populations may survive.