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Awareness in UK on Sabah's Orang Utans
Published on: Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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Kota Kinabalu: Mowgli's sad story may shed many tears. But at least he knows he now has hope."Support for securing a permanent future for Sabah's Orang Utan is growing rapidly in the UK," said Sue Sherwood, Chairperson and Founder of Sepilok Orang-utan Appeal UK which had already raised RM1.4 million to do the work.

The rising momentum was evident when two Midlands-based Twycross Zoo keepers, Julie Wooley and Rachell Sellers, arrived Saturday to gain hands-on experience on rehabilitation wild Orang Utans under a two-week exchange programme at the invitation of Sabah Wildlife Department.

In return, two Sabah Wildlife Department rangers will travel to Tywcross Zoo where they will learn state-of-the art methods of Orang-utan care in a top primate zoo in Europe, in mid October.

While Sepilok is their destination, Julie and Rachell spent the first leg of the exchange programme at the 64-acre Nature Reserve of Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Dalit Bay, Tuaran, working alongside the rangers there.

That's where two-year old Mowgli's moving background surfaced at a press conference Tuesday.

After the press session, Mowgli was brought out briefly for photographic purposes.

A July issue of Appeal news describes "him" as "the prettiest baby orang-utans I have ever seen," writes Sheena Hynd in a bite size article entitled "The Little King!!" published in the July issue of Appeal news

"His thick long auburn hair is characteristic of the orangutans who inhabit the slopes of Mt Kinabalu," said Sheena, a volunteer research primatologist who is studying how rehabilitated Orangutans cope after being released to the natural rainforest in Sepilok.

"Two years ago Mowqli was born in the foothills and was living with his mother, wild and free," she said.

"His mother was shot and killed by hunters. Mowgli sustains a gun shot wound to his hand in the attack."

Luckily, Sepilok rangers rescued Mowgli and nursed him back to full health.

But since Mowgli originated in western Sabah, it was decided he should be first rehabilitated at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort's Nature Reserve which is a typical coastal forest of Sabah.

Interestingly, a Rasa Ria press statement says as well as helping to rehabilitate indigenous animals, alien plants and trees within the Reserve are being replaced with native species through a replanting scheme which can be participated by guests at the Resort.


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