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Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, is located on the island of Borneo. Borneo has long been known for its exotic wildlife. However, today, as with wildlife the world over, Borneo finds it is necessary to protect its wild animals. There are a couple Orang Utan centers in Sabah but both are full-day trips from Kota Kinabalu. Visitors should consider visiting the Shangri-la’s Rasa Ria Resort Nature Reserve where they have a variety of nature-related activities. Twice daily their “In Search of the Orang Utan” activity includes learning about the orangs natural habitat along with related rehabilitation and conservation efforts.
The visit includes an informative introduction about the orang utans and the Shangri-la’s role in conservation. A 15-minute jungle walk leads to the orang utans viewing and feeding platform. The orangs have free range but know when it is feeding time and where to get their food. Currently the resident orangs are being introduced to the wild and learning how to survive. Most are around three years old and were rescued as infants. When they are about six they will be sent to a larger nature center in Sepilok. Guides share interesting facts including the fact that they build a new nest every night. The tour ends at the nursery where the babies are kept, bottle-fed, and trained until they are nearly three-years old. At that time they can fend for themselves with the other orangs. The babies are not put with the older orangs earlier as the older ones tend to play too rough. Many of their habits are similar to humans including a gestation period of nine months. They often live to 50 years of age. To visit the Shangri-la Rasa Ria one needs to make reservations and there is a small fee which supports the project.