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Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park




The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park was officially opened in February 2007 and has enjoyed high visitor numbers since this time, with the majority of visitors consisting of local Malays. There are plans to develop an education programme amongst local schools and a volunteer programme for Malaysian citizens

Travellers and the Sabah Wildlife Department have arranged a structured programme at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park which will allow volunteers the opportunity to learn about animal care across a variety of species. You'll have hands on contact with some of the animals that have been hand reared.

Working hours are generally between 8.00am - 12.00am and 2.00pm - 5.00pm.

You will assist on a rotation system within the areas listed below:

* Elephants
* Primates (Orang-Utans and Monkeys)
* Birds
* Carnivores (Clouded Leopards, Tigers, Otters, Civets and Sun Bears)
* Children's Zoo
* Rhinos, Deer and other Hoofstock


ELEPHANTS:
Chief Veterianarian Dr Sen Nathaneil and Travellers' Malaysia Co-ordinator Vicky Boughton at the Elephant enclosure in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Borneo Travellers' Vicky Boughton will arrange your programme and look after you. Here she is on site site in Malaysia during one of her regular inspection trips

All of the Elephants at Lok Kawi are Pygmy Elephants and there are currently 5 female elephants, 1 male and 2 babies. Pygmy Elephants are native to Borneo - in the wild they are found mainly in Sabah along the Kinabatangan river, but their population and habitat is dwindling due to human intervention. Borneo's Pygmy Elephants are thought to be a separate sub-species of the Asian Elephant as the two differ in many ways. Pygmy Elephants are typically half a metre smaller in height than Asian Elephants and yet have longer trunks and tails, both of which sweep the ground. They also tend to be much less aggressive than Asian Elephants. Conservation and understanding of Borneo's Elephants is incredibly important as they are critically endangered. Lok Kawi plays an important role in educating the public about Borneo's native wildlife.

The baby elephants at Lok Kawi were rescued from the wild during separate poaching incidents which resulted in their mothers being killed. They have been in contact with humans since a very young age as they had to be bottle fed. Visitors and children can interact with the baby elephants at the Children's zoo.

You may assist the elephant keepers with the following tasks:

* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly
* Preparing food/milk
* Bottle feeding and washing the baby elephants
* Reporting to the veterinarian on behaviour/eating patterns
* Taking the baby elephants to the Children's Zoo and assisting with visitor interaction/safety. This includes some rides for the children but only during weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
* Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.


PRIMATES:
Primate species at Lok Kawi include Orang-Utans, Proboscis Monkeys and Gibbons. Within this area you'll also look after some of the other small mammals at the park. Both Orang-Utans and Proboscis Monkeys are native to Borneo and both are facing the threat of extinction due to loss of habitat and human intervention.

Orang-Utans are incredibly gentle, inquisitive and endearing creatures. They are native to Borneo and Sumatra and found high up in the forest canopy. Orang-Utans are solitary animals and difficult to spot in the wild.

At Lok Kawi there are 8 young Orang-Utans, living in a large unfenced enclosure with plenty of enrichment activities - bridges, hammocks, ropes and tyres to climb and swing on. Visitors are not allowed interaction with the Orang-Utans but as a volunteer you will be involved in some of the behind the scenes duties, which includes a direct hands on approach with the animals where possible.

Orang-utans are facing extinction within the next 10 - 15 years due in part to a loss of habitat in the wild. They also have incredibly slow reproduction rates which means that a drop in their population has an even greater effect on the rate of extinction. The Orang-Utans at Lok Kawi will not be released but will remain in captivity to raise awareness of conservation issues to the public.

Proboscis Monkey's are very unusual, with round protruding bellies and huge, pink, pendulous noses - in males the longer the nose the better for attracting a female mate! They live in groups high up in the trees and usually close to a water source. In Sabah they are mainly found along the banks of the Kinabatangan river.

At Lok Kawi there is a group of Proboscis monkey's living in a large glass fronted enclosure, with a water spring and plenty of vegetation for climbing. You will be fascinated watching their interactions with each other - these clever primates can even swim! Currently there are several baby proboscis monkey's that have been born in the Wildlife Park.

Gibbons are found in the subtropical forests of South East Asia and usually live in family groups of 2 - 6 individuals. They are territorial and excellent climbers and jumpers, capable of reaching up to 9 metres in a single jump.

You may assist with the following duties within the primates section:

* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly
* Preparing food and feeding
* Moving orang-utans from the night stalls to their outside enclosures
* Handling other primates when required
* To assist with feeding time at the exhibits and talk to visitors about the various different primates
* Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.



BIRDS:
Walking into the Aviary is like stepping into the middle of the jungle! The forest canopy is covered with a mesh that is so high that you barely even notice it hovering above the trees. A wooden walkway leads you through the Aviary and across a stream where birds can be seen fishing and wading in the mud. Talking parrots will greet you 'hello' and you may even be lucky enough to spot a mouse deer foraging in the vegetation.

Sabah's iconic Rhinoceros Hornbill will no doubt swoop past you, making a loud whooshing sound with each wing beat - the hornbill is also famous for it's loud trumpeting calls. This black bird has a white tail and a dramatic yellow and red beak and casque. Other birds in this section include Macaws, Myna's and Hornbills.

You may assist with the following duties within the Main Aviary, the Macaw exhibit, the Myna exhibit and the Hornbill exhibit;

* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to provide a clean environment for the birds
* Preparing food
* Maintaining records of the number of birds that come to the feeding platform and reporting anything abnormal to the veterinarian/other staff
* To assist with feeding time and talk to visitors about the various different birds


CARNIVORES/SEMI CARNIVORES:
Within this section you'll assist with Clouded Leopards, Tigers, Otters, Civets and Sun Bears.

Clouded Leopards are usually found in lowland rainforest habitats. There is one Clouded leopard at the Wildlife Park. This clouded leopard was injured and rescued at a very young age and has been hand reared in captivity. It is very rare to see Clouded Leopards in the wild as they are very secretive by nature.

Tigers are the largest feline species in the world and fiercely territorial. Each tiger has around 100 stripes, in a unique pattern of markings - their fur is also used as a form of camouflage. The Wildlife Park has 6 Tigers in all; a family of 3 cubs plus one male and female, and 1 hand reared female tiger.

Otters are marine mammals, primarily surviving on a diet of fish. They are found throughout Africa and Asia's rivers. Some sub-species can also live in the sea. Civets are cat sized mammals that are nocturnal. They are very good climbers.

Sun Bears are the smallest type of bear - at maturity a male will stand at about 4ft high. They make excellent climbers and have very long claws to aid this. Sun bears are increasingly rare residents of tropical rainforests and habitat loss is a growing problem affecting their survival in the wild.

You may assist with the following duties within the Carnivores section:

* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to ensure a clean environment for the animals
* Preparing food and assisting with feeding
* Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.
* Talking to the visitors at feeding time


CHILDREN'S ZOO:
The Children’s Zoo is first and foremost an educational facility with an information centre currently under construction that will boast live exhibits. Brightly painted murals engage attention and the petting zoo allows children to have hands on contact with domestic animals and wildlife to encourage learning about conservation. Within the petting area there are animals such as Rabbits, Tortoise, Miniature Ponies and Goats.

Travellers are proud to have had the opportunity to donate £5,140.00 from the Bridge The Gap Foundation (The Phil Perkes Trust) to sponsor the Children’s Zoo. Travellers' donation reflects their commitment in education and raising awareness about conservation.

You may assist with the following duties at the Children's Zoo:

* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to ensure a clean environment for the animals
* Preparing food and assisting with feeding
* Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.
* Talking to the visitors at feeding time


RHINOS, DEER AND OTHER HOOFSTOCK:
Within the Hoofstock area you'll assist with Rhino, Cattle (Anchole and Bali), Axis and Deer (Timor, Red, Barking and Mouse).

You may assist with the following duties:

* Moving animals from night stalls to enclosures.
* Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.
* Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to ensure a clean environment for the animals


ACCOMMODATION:
Accommodation has been arranged within staff quarters on the grounds of the Wildlife Park. One of the staff quarters has been released for the sole use of volunteers.

This accommodation has two bedrooms, a living/dining area, a western style toilet and a separate shower. There is a kitchen with a kettle and fridge for your use. Meals will be prepared for you by a caretaker and you'll have plenty of opportunities to socialise with others.

Malaysia has lovely weather all year round with lots of sunshine and you will have some time during your free days to explore the local region and visit some of the tourist attractions.





How to Reach there:

Sabah is a Malaysian state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Its state capital is Kota Kinabalu, where the Kota Kinabalu International Airport is located.

As the main gateway into Sabah and the island of Borneo, the Kota Kinabalu International Airport has become the second busiest airport after Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is located near the small town of Lok Kawi. It is about 10 minutes drive from Lok Kawi and about 40 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu. There is no direct public transport to the park.

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Near BY:

Casuarina Hotel-11.1 km
Shangrila Beach Hotel-11.9 km
Hotel Pacific Sutera-12.3 km
Bus Stop-14.2 km
Library Bus Stop Food Court-14.1 km
North Borneo Train-10.4 km
Sabah Train Station-10.8 km
Regency Park Shop House-7.9 km
Coffee shop-10.2 km