KUCHING: The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is set for a double celebration come Sept 16.
Apart from the Malaysia Day celebration, the centre will also be celebrating the birthday of a baby male orang utan on the same day.
Named after the three-letter abbreviation code for Malaysia, Mas, a cheerful baby orang utan, believed to have been born on Sept 16 last year.
The centre manager Chong Jiew Han said Mas is the youngest among third siblings to Analisa and the grandson to Seduku, which is the oldest orang utan at the enclosure.
“Analisa was last seen on Sept 13 and returned to the feeding platform on Sept 18 with a baby attached on her.
“So, we believed that Mas was born on Sept 16,” Chong told the New Straits Times.
Chong added that all 28 orang utans at the centre were mostly named after a special occasion or the person, who found or rescued the animal from danger or illegal trade.
“Mas is turning one and we are happy that he is growing well. He has begun to explore the forest by himself but not too far away from his mother.
“Although Mas is still being breastfeed by his mother, he, on some occasions, is also allowed to try some solid food.
“We saw him grabbing some fruits from his mother’s hands,” he added.
He said Mas was supposed to have two brothers, Anakku and Digital Guro.
“Sadly, Digital Guro, who was three years old, died two years ago due to natural causes,” he said.
The centre together with its sister facility at Matang Wildlife Centre, offer the Orangutan Adoption Programme, whereby the public can participate by adopting an orang utan.
The public can adopt a specific orang utan for a year by contributing RM200 a year, and for companies, it is RM 10,000 a year.
Proceeds from the programme will be used to fund conservation activities and rehabilitation of wildlife.