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Sandakan’s remarkable nature attractions
Published on: Sunday, February 20, 2022
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Sandakan’s remarkable nature attractions
ENDOWED with a rich diversity of flora and fauna, Sandakan is also renowned for its remarkable nature attractions.

It serves as a gateway to both rainforest and treasured wildlife. Hence, it is dubbed as the “nature city”.

The various wildlife sanctuaries and discovery centres in Sandakan offer opportunities for visitors to explore and learn more about Sabah’s nature gems.

Aside from that, Sandakan is also the gateway to the Lower Kinabatangan well known for its river safari and a chance to spot wildlife in the wild.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

Located adjacent to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is the only sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility in the world.

It was founded in 2008 and opened to the public in 2014. The facility upholds five main pillars – animal welfare, rehabilitation, research, education and ecotourism.

At the centre, visitors can learn more about the world’s smallest bear which can only be found in Southeast Asia, and observe them in their natural habitat.

These adorable bears continue to be threatened by forest degradation, illegal hunting for bear parts and poaching to obtain young cubs for pet trade.

The centre includes large forest enclosures to provide a natural environment suited to the needs and welfare of the sun bears and facilitate their rehabilitation back into the wild.

It is also equipped with an observation platform, boardwalk and a visitor centre, aside from an educational “bear talk”.

There are currently 44 rescued ex-captive sun bears and one captive born residing at the BSBCC.

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC)

Located about a 40-minute drive away from the town centre, The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC) was established in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orang utans.

It has since grown from having just an outdoor platform to having an outdoor nursery viewing area.

There are also many jungle lodges within a one kilometre radius of the area that visitors could opt for.

Generally visitors to Sepilok are able to see orang utans during the scheduled 10am and 3pm feeding session at the platform. Alternatively, some orang utans can be seen from the outdoor nursery.

Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

Also in Sepilok is the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) that offers visitors an opportunity to get intimate with nature through its nature experience programme.

The programme includes a guided walk and indoor as well as outdoor activities.

The facility’s main highlights are its canopy walkway where visitors can walk to the top of the observation towers to enjoy a breath-taking view of lush greenery.

For the more adventurous visitors, a night walk is also highly recommended to be immersed in the rainforest scene.

The centre is also a home for the oldest trees in Sabah and a haven for nature photographers and birdwatchers.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

At the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, visitors can get up close (reminder: touching the monkeys are not allowed) with Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys.

Opened to the public in 2000, the privately-owned sanctuary located within an oil palm estate provides a safe haven for the monkeys.

Labuk Bay currently houses one of the largest isolated populations of proboscis monkeys on the Borneo islands (about 300), along with other wildlife such as silvered-leaf langurs and oriental-pied hornbills.

The centre is equipped with observation platforms where visitors can observe the monkeys during designated feeding times.

After the feeding session, the monkeys usually hang around for a while – an excellent photo opportunity for visitors.

– This article is brought to you in collaboration with Sabah Tourism Board (STB).

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