If you want to take a closer look at some of the endangered wildlife in Sarawak, make a pit stop at Matang Wildlife Centre.
Located about 40 minutes’ drive from Kuching, the centre houses threatened wildlife in large enclosed areas of rainforest or spacious cages.
Here you can see crocodiles, sun bears, bearcats (binturong), gibbons, porcupines, civets, tortoises and orangutan.
There are several kinds of birds as well such as oriental-pied hornbill, black hornbill, imperial pigeon, hill myna, wrinkled hornbill, bushy crested hornbill and Buffy fish owl.
Matang Wildlife Centre is not a zoo
The Animal Enclosure Trail is where it takes visitors past the animals enclosures for an opportunity to see the resident animals there.
The trail takes about 40 minutes to finish but visitors can always take their time to observe the behaviour of each species.
Although the centre is not a zoo but rather, a dedicated centre where endangered species are rehabilitated, one cannot help but feel sad to see the animals out of their natural habitats.
Most of the animals have been confiscated from members of the public who kept them illegally as pets. At Matang Wildlife Centre, they must be rehabilitated and trained on how to fend for themselves before being released into the wild.
How long do these animals need to be rehabilitated? The length of time can vary depending on the species.
Visitors can see that some of the different animal enclosures have been designed to closely resemble their natural habitats in the wild.
The enclosure for sun bears, for example, has a lot of trees. Plus, their food is placed high up in those trees to encourage the bears to use their climbing skills.
Some of the animals such as binturong and porcupine are nocturnal, so visitors might not be able to see them during the day.
It was good to see some of the local visitors bringing along their young children to visit Matang Wildlife Centre.
Hopefully the future generations of Sarawakians will be more proactive in protecting the state’s endangered animals.
Part of Kubah National Park, you can also do a jungle trek at Matang Wildlife Centre. There is the Pitcher Trail (about two hours), Sungai Trail (about three to four hours), Sungai Senduk trail (about one hour) and Sungai Buluh trail (about two hours).
Unfortunately, all the the trails were closed temporarily during KajoMag’s visit.