Why the Shangri-la Rasa Ria orangutan secrecy?

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Despite several attempts to get answers from the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) regarding the exploitation of young orangutans at the exclusive Shangri-la Rasa Ria resort in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah, our efforts have been responded with a veil of secrecy and silence.

Please take a look at the letter published by Free Malaysia Today below, and if you care for orangutans, you should be worried too about the welfare of these majestic red apes at Rasa Ria.

At the moment Friends of the Orangutans (FOTO) is the only Malaysian NGO seeking to help the orangutans at Rasa Ria, which means we need your support in this campaign.

Please will you today write to Free Malaysia Today and demand Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister to get the SWD to answer all questions raised by FOTO. Send your letters to:


Use the letter below as a guide, but you only need to write a short letter, e.g. 2 paragraphs. If you need help, please send us an email at fotorangutans@gmail.com.

Please also sign and share this petition widely on your Facebook/Twitter:

Reveal Treatment Of Orangutans At Rasa Ria RESORT


“To say nothing, to do nothing, stops nothing” ~Roni McCall

Thank you for caring.


Why the Shangri-la Rasa Ria orangutan secrecy?

November 21, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Upreshpal Singh, via e-mail

I’d like to addresses this letter to Masidi Manjun, the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister. Having failed multiple times to obtain any transparency from Dr Laurentius Yambu, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department, regarding orangutans kept at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort Nature Reserve, we are hoping you will treat our requests more positively.

Please can you inform us:

  • Why was Tenten the orphaned orangutan sent to a holiday resort rather than be retained at Sepilok for rehabilitation?
  • Isn’t Sepilok better able to administer the care and expertise required of such a young orangutan? We imagine donors to Orangutan Appeal UK would be alarmed and very disappointed to discover Sepilok is passing on cute babies to a luxurious hotel.
  • Was anyone arrested and prosecuted for the killing of Tenten’s adult mother?
  • The Shangri-la company has recently announced a big increase in profits. Why, therefore, do they solicit donations at the resort and what happens to this money?
  • Is there a permanent, full time vet at Rasa Ria?
  • How often does the SWD inspect the orangutans and their cages?
  • We received reports of volunteers sent home for taking pictures of the condition of orangutans? Why is this so?
  • How many orangutans have died at Rasa Ria in the last five years? In this regard we have received a worrying report.

We are sure you agree that when a government department and/or employee refuses to disclose information in the public interest, it only creates greater interest while suspicion snowballs.

Much has been said recently about Sabah’s wish to be more proactive in helping orangutans, so we only hope our request will be addressed.

The writer is Founder, Friends of the Orangutans



Direct link to article here.