Last Thursday, I was honoured to join other media participants for an event known as Discover Perak 2013. You may notice the constant tagging of #discoverperak2013 and #gayatravel on my twitter account. The event started on Thursday and ended on Sunday night with an objective to bring the media and travel writers for a trip to discover Perak. For all I know, I learned a lot from this trip especially on places I have not set foot in Perak before. Even I get enchanted with the quaint city of Ipoh despite my regular visits to Ipoh. As I will share the experience on place-to-place basis, you will find my #discoverperak2013 series ranging from Pulau Orang Utan Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort to Fireflies Trip at Kampung Dew to Perak Man Archeological Site to old buildings of Ipoh.
As a matter of introduction, Perak is said to have gotten its name from the name of Bendahara Tun Perak of Melaka while some believe that it came from the “glimmer of fish in the water” that sparkled like silver (perak). History proves that Perak has been in existence since the prehistoric age.
Pulau Orang Utan or Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation is located within the eco-friendly getaway of Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, a 7,000 acre freshwater lakeside in Semanggol, Perak. Pulau Orang Utan was formerly known as Pulau Panjang, comprises a vast 35 acre area, 5 acre of which has been set aside as a research centre for these endangered species.
After listening to the briefing by the CEO of Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation, Dr. D Sabapathy, I gathered a lot of information about orang utans. Here are some of the interesting facts of orang utan:-
At present, there are 24 orang utans, of which 16 were born in the island and 1 was born at BJ island, another island near to Pulau Orang Utan. FYI, the earliest orang utans were brought in from Borneo, making Pulau Orang Utan the first ex-situ conservation in Malaysia.
From the jetty at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort to Pulau Orang Utan, the boat ride takes 20 minutes through the beautiful landscape of the lake.
When we arrived at Pulau Orang Utan, we were taken to the tunnel coverage to spot the orang utans.
The first one we caught sight was Adam. The veterinary officer indicated that if you were to work with the orang utans, you can tell which is which. Thus, she could actually name the orang utans that we spotted that day. There were 3 exhibits (cages) altogether. If memory serves me well, I think I spotted at least 8 orang utans within the span of 30 minutes.
As we walked through the tunnel coverage, I can’t help but notice the herbal garden that gated the exhibits.
If you are travelling to Malaysia and you are in the nick of time to go to Borneo, this is absolutely the place you must visit to get close to the orang utans.