Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Sibuti

There is a new wildlife rehabilitation center in Miri called the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary which is to be opened in the Sibuti area here in Northern Sarawak. 

The Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary will house protected and endangered species of animals rescued in the northern and central parts of Sarawak. 

Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary

Orangutan at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
One of the male orangutans seen at a wildlife center in Sarawak.
Just so you know, the wildlife sanctuary has been around for years and only now it is in the planning to be renovated and to be a full-scale wildlife sanctuary that will open to visitors. 

Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary is also under the management of Sarawak Forestry Corporation Northern Region, Miri Office. 

The Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary was approved under the 11th Malaysia Plan and has been allocated with total funding of RM2 Million. 

One of the core reasons for having this center built in the northern part of Sarawak is the fact that any rescued animals from this part need to be sent to Matang, which is over 1,000 km away. 

When this center is built, it will take care of the north to the central region of Sarawak, meaning that any wild animals rescued will be sent to the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary.

Another reason cited is that the Matang Wildlife Centre does not have enough space for rescued animals as the place has been around since 1996 and is currently crowded. 

Wildlife Sanctuaries and Rehabilitation Centers in Sarawak

Wildlife Centre Matang
The iconic welcome sign at the Matang Wildlife Centre
Currently, there are a few of these wildlife sanctuaries found throughout Sarawak, and most of them are catered to nature lovers, bird watchers or research purposes.

Below is the list of wildlife sanctuaries in Sarawak;

  1. Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary - This soon-to-open sanctuary will be the third place in Sarawak, which will look after the rescued wildlife from the central and northern regions of Sarawak.
  2. Semenggoh Wildlife Centre - Catering to Orangutan rehabilitation and began operations in 1972. The place now serves as an orangutan conservation center for environmental learning, research and also as a tourist attraction in Sarawak.
  3. Matang Wildlife Center - This wildlife center has been in operation since 1996 and serves as a rehabilitation and rescue center for wildlife in Sarawak. Orangutans are cared for here and then transferred to Semenggoh.
  4. Samunsan Wildlife Sanctuary in Lundu - This is the oldest wildlife sanctuary in Malaysia and it is located on the western tip of Sarawak. This sanctuary was gazetted in 1979 and covers an area of about 69 square kilometers. The Samunsan Wildlife Sanctuary objective was to protect the habitat of proboscis monkeys living in that area.
  5. Lanajak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Aman - This massive place covers an area of 168,758 hectares and 95% of the area is still covered in virgin rainforest. This sanctuary is home to the orangutan and the Bornean Gibbons, and it is adjacent to the Batang Ai National Park.
  6. Pulau Tukong Ara-Banun Wildlife Sanctuary in Santubong - Covering an area of 1.4 hectares is the Pulau Tukong Ara-Banun Wildlife Sanctuary located 5 kilometers offshore of Santubong Bay, in Damai. The sanctuary was gazetted in 1985, and in 1989 was incorporated into the Talang-Satang National Park.

Ecotourism Plans for Wildlife Centers in Sarawak

At the moment, Semenggoh and Matang are open for visitors, and the forestry department has again insisted to remind the public that these places are not a zoo.

With the addition of the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, this brings the number of sanctuaries and centers to three. And of course, there are plans for a fourth, but nothing has been discussed about that yet.

Driving to Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary
Directions from Miri to Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary in Bekenu
How to go to the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary? 

For now, only researchers can visit this place, but in the near future, there are plans for the sanctuary to welcome visitors. Until then, this article is just for your added knowledge.

But in any case, those who are heading here for research purposes, it takes around 45 minutes to drive from the Miri Airport. To be safe, I would put it as an hour's drive.

If you are coming in from out of Miri, there are numerous flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and other larger cities around Malaysia. Flights from KL to Miri take around two hours and 20 minutes one way.

Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary Contact

For any further information about this wildlife sanctuary, you can contact Sarawak Forestry as they are the right people to help you with your questions.

You may also get in touch with the Sarawak Forest Department for additional information.

Sarawak Rhinoceros Hornbill conservation
Rhinoceros Hornbill conservation in Sarawak. Photo Wikipedia.
Conclusion

With the great news of another wildlife center and rehabilitation center opening in Sarawak, this will hopefully provide more conservation efforts for the locals here.

As the center is still yet to be opened to the public, the Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary has plans for visitors and once we get news about this, we will share it here.

Meanwhile, if you are traveling to Sarawak, do make it a point to visit the other wildlife sanctuaries and also some of the best national parks in Sarawak.

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