Within the Semenggoh Nature Reserve is the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
Located 20 or so kilometres south of Kuching city, it is the biggest orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sarawak.
It was established in 1975 as a sanctuary for orangutans that were injured, orphaned or taken from people who kept them illegally as pets. Over time it has developed into both a centre and habitat for semi-wild orangutans and a place for visitors to learn about the endangered primates.
The centre now has a thriving population of healthy adolescent and young adult orangutans that spend most of their time roaming the forest but know when to get back to the centre where they get free meals from their caretakers.
When certain fruits are in season, however, they may not come for the free meals.
Besides the orangutans, the nature reserve also has rare flora and fauna including the giant squirrel, pigmy squirrel, gibbons and a variety of birds.
Currently, SWC plays a complementary role for quarantine and transit of wildlife before being sent to Matang. SWC is active in raising public awareness of nature and wildlife.
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (changed to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in 2000) was set up to:
- Care for wild animals that have either been injured in the forests, orphaned of kept illegally as pets. After rehabilitation, the animals are released back into the wild to be free or sent to Matang Wildlife Centre.
- Conduct research on wildlife and captive breeding programme for endangered species.
- Educate visitors and the general public about the importance of conservation.