We received reports of a couple of orangutans locked up in cages at the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort’s Orangutan Island (OUI) in West Malaysia. Two orangutans called Ah Leng and Sonia were kept behind public eyes on the island for very long time. This matter is still under investigation and therefore at the moment we are unable to specify here how long they have been caged for. The two photos in this post are apparently of Ah Leng and Sonia. We have suspicion that a third orangutan is also caged in a similar manner. We are in contact with OUI to find out more information
OUI, on its website and Facebook page claims to be doing conservation, research and rehabilitation of orangutans, among others. However, rehabilitation of orangutans must only take place within (wild) orangutan range, and there are no orangutans in the wild in West Malaysia. While ethical and respected orangutan rehabilitation centres like this one save orangutans from humans or the wild within the orangutans’ habitat range, all orangutans at OUI were either taken from Borneo or born at the resort. No orangutan at OUI will ever be returned to the wild and we would be extremely alarmed and take action if any did, for reasons mentioned above and that no rehabilitation whatsoever takes place at OUI.
Finally, orangutan rehabilitation centres must be strictly off limits to the public and for this reason we have previously spoken up about tourism at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, click here to read more.