It’s History As Rehabilitated Bornean Orangutan Returned To The Wild

Tiger climbs a tree as soon as it is released into the Coe area and looks back at the humans who released him into the forest. Photos courtesy of WRU/SWD

TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE (LAHAD DATU): A joint effort between Sabah Wildlife Department and a United Kingdom-based charity, Orangutan Appeal UK successfully translocated a 20-year old adult male Bornean Orangutan named “Tiger” back into the wild.

Madam Sue Sheward, Orangutan Appeal UK’s (OAUK) founder and chairperson said Thursday that the release carried out to translocate the big male orangutan known as Tiger from Sepilok to the Tabin reserve made history.

“Teams from the Sabah Wildlife Department, the Wildlife Rescue Unit and Orangutan Appeal UK all pooled their resources to make this amazing achievement possible,” said Sue.

“With the assistance of good friends within Sabah and the UK yet another magnificent orangutan was saved,” concluded Sue.

According to Augustine Tuuga, Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, Tiger was brought to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center some 18 years ago as a very timid two-year-old orphaned baby orangutan.

“He spent the next few years undergoing the rehabilitation process there. Ironically Tiger was actually rescued from a logging camp somewhere in Lahad Datu and now is being translocated back to Tabin Wildlife Reserve’s Core Area, also in Lahad Datu,” he pointed out.

“Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a 1,200 Square KM area and is an ideal place to release “Tiger” as it is a large enough area for him to comfortably forage in.”

Madam Sue Sheward and Dr Sen pointing at the logo of their respective organisations

He said SWD thanks Orangutan Appeal UK for funding the whole translocation operation which cost more than RM 50,000.

“We would also like to thank the Malaysian Palm Oil Council for funding SWD’s critically important Wildlife rescue Unit who played a critical part in making this translocation operation a success,” Tuuga added.

Wildlife Rescue Unit staff carrying the very heavy crate and Orangutan (120KG) to the release site.