Animal conservation in Asia

Orangutan buddies

Changes in an animal’s natural habitat can wreak devastation on its future numbers. Responsible tourism can play a positive role in changing this outcome.


Learn about two animal conservation centres in Asia who are working to secure the future of the endangered Bornean orangutan and China’s Giant Panda.

Borneo | Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Bornean Orangutan

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was founded in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans and is one of only four orangutan sanctuaries in the world.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation CentreThe Bornean orangutan population is currently under threat, largely due to the destruction of their rainforest habitat and an illegal wildlife trade where orphaned babies are taken in as pets.

Orangutan babies hold tight to their mothers for up to 6 years in the wild learning how to forage and climb high up in the rainforest canopy. When a orphaned baby is brought to the centre it is buddied up with an older orangutan who can teach them in lieu of their mother. It takes 7 years for an orangutan to be rehabilitated before being released in to the wild.

There are morning and afternoon feeding times however there is no guarantee that the orangutans will make an appearance, particularly in fruiting season. That just means that they are doing what nature intended and are foraging for themselves.

Our 16 day Wonders of Borneo small group tour spends a morning at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Click here for more information.

China | Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Pandas

Only 1,800 Giant Pandas exist in the wild and they are the rarest member of the bear family. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is working to rebuild the Giant Panda population and save this majestic animal from the present threat of extinction.

Chengdu PandasThe park has a strong focus on educational tourism as opposed to novelty-seeking. Visitors leave with a better understanding of the problems faced by wild pandas including the fragmentation of their forest habitat by new roads and railroads.

The enclosures include rivers, lakes, green lawns, bamboo forests and caves to simulate the giant panda’s natural environment. It also makes for a very calming setting in which to explore the park.

Our 18 day China in Depth small group tour visits the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Click here for more information.

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