Bukit merah orangutan island- up-close and personal with the Ape clan.

bukit merah orangutan island, Malaysia
Orangutans  are one of the most intelligent creatures. It is one of the most gentle apes.  ” Orang-utans” meanin ‘person in the forest’ in Malay language,  is a native of Indonesia  and Malaysia.
Why conservation is necessary?
The orange hues hair attracts a lot of poachers around the orangutans.  Along with loss of habitat ( the forests) they are always captured as cute pets and sold off in markets. Often the uncontrollable forest fires in the Borneo  area and Indonesia also displaces them from their natural surrounding which further boosts the poaching and selling.
Bukit Merah conservation island
Upon hearing there is a conservation center we were more than excited to have a close quarter visit of these magnificent  yet endangered  beings.
The Bukit Merah orangutan island, located inside the Bukit Merah  Lake Town is approximately  70 km from Penang and 16 kms from Ipoh, Malaysia.
A 35 acre island of which 15 acres developed for the rehabilitation, care and conservation  of orangutans  is perhaps one of the most noble attempt working towards their well being.  Started in year 2000  the venture is progressing  with support from governmental agencies towards the protection of Bornean orangutans.
Driving off the free way at Exit 150 into Bukit merah and turning off to the right just after the toll booth, don’t miss the large entrance to the lake town. Drive up the small elevation and you reach a pretty little fairground like setting.
On the mainland there is a theme park, you can spend time here when you return back…or even spend the day.
This is the place to pick up your tickets for your exploration.
Tickets are priced at 30 RM for adult and 18 RM for kids
Island exploration
Bukit merah orangutan island

Bukit merah orangutan island

Once you procure your tickets proceed to the  jetty where the ferry fetches you every 15 minutes apart to a idyllic ride across the lake. A comfortable  10 minute ride enjoying the greenery and the cool  breeze  from the large lake.
At the dock greeted by the guide at Pulau Panjang ,  it’s a pleasure  to note that we are the caged ones and the orangutans are free. Strolling through the  cage tunnel of 200 meters of the orangutan Camp gives a glimpse of the activities of these magnificent  primates.
Bukit merah orangutan island

Bukit merah orangutan island

The orangutans
As soon as you land your eyes roam around the trees to catch a glimpse of the orange fur.. Don’t fret you will be amply rewarded, even with those entertaining you with a few antics .
The guide as she calls out each orangutan it is adorable  to see they respond.  Quite high intelligent creatures, they were effective in using a tool to  get their feed. The kid orangutan were playing pranks near the entrance itself and taking a skinny dip now and then, of course swinging around the ropes that lead to the tree. Check out this video compilation to have a visual feel of the place.

The kind and the oldest offspring was of course big and quite lethargic.. Fanning himself out with a leaf fan.The  true king  he was, reminded me of “King Louie in the Jungle book”,was least interested in the caged visitors or those ranger.  Adam his son, on the other hand,  posed for a pic showing  off his teeth.
The female offspring were around too and one of them smart enough to procure the banana from outside the enclosure with a perfect use of a stick.
Bukit merah orangutan island

Bukit merah orangutan island

We spend some more time observing them and noting down some more details for some sketching later.   The guide helped us locate a nest or two too.. Interesting behavior  similar to prepping your bed.
The best part of the tour was that you can stay as long as you want to observe them.
It was really a wonderful adventure to meet these beautiful creations  and spend sometime with them.  A perfect half day activity to observe, sketch and learn more about these mammals.
A calm quite place, to sit and observe the creation of nature wonderfully innocent and incredibly intelligent.
To know that the foundation prepares and releases the animals back into the wild was pacifying.  Further more those interested  scan enroll in for workshops or studies conducted.  If you are passing by the vicinity don’t miss the opportunity  to see these lovely creatures  at a close quarters.
Tips

Reach there in the morning as the animals are active and will be more in their natural state than having them to be woken up

Do not feed the animals with food from your end.

Do check out some cool adventures in Malaysia though our eyes
 and much more on
Like
penang-war-museum, Isthana jahar, Kota baru, Water fall Murugan temple and more

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Poonam Bachhav
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Good info..and lovely clicks as always !