Sarawak’s wildlife is among the world’s most unique. If you’re here for the first time and it just so happens that you’re into wildlife, then you need to see these eight animals synonymous with Sarawak up-close before you go back home.
Scientifically known as Buceros Rhinoceros, this particular species of hornbill is an icon of Sarawak and is the State emblem. They are easily recognisable by the large yellow casque on top of their beak, as well as feathers of black and white. They nest and care for their young in tree cavity until the young ones are ready to take flight. If you’re lucky, you can spot them in the jungles of Sarawak. You can also see them at Taman Tumbina in Bintulu and Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching.
The Pongo Pygmaeus or commonly known as Orang Utan needs no introduction. Yes you can see them in zoos all over the world but seeing them in their natural habitat is an entirely different experience. Translated into English, the name of this magnificent member of the great apes means ‘person of the forest’. Semenggoh Nature Reserve is a wildlife rehabilitation centre where you can see them in the wild.
They are the largest of monkeys in Asia and the males are easily identifiable by their unusually large nose, which they use to attract the females. Endemic to Borneo, the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis Larvatus) thrive in the mangroves and swamps of Sarawak. Bako National Park is a popular hot spot where tourists can see them in the wild.
Yes, Sarawak is famous for this fearsome reptile, especially the giant man-eating white back crocodile Bujang Senang that now remains a legend. You can see them up close and from a safe distance at Jong’s Crocodile Farm in Kuching and Miri Crocodile Farm & Mini Zoo in Miri. (click this LINK to article of Jong’s Crocodile Farm in Kuching)
One of the most elusive animals in Sarawak, the Bornean Clouded Leopard is unique to the island of Borneo. A completely separate species from the one found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the Bornean Clouded Leopard is darker in colour and has small cloud markings with distinct spots in them. Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching and Taman Tumbina in Bintulu are among the places you can see this fantastic feline in person.
Rajah Brooke Birdwing
This beautiful winged insect was first discovered in 1855 by naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, who named it after Rajah James Brooke. The males are more flashy, with its black wings beautifully contrasted with bright green markings. They can be spotted at Mulu National Park among other forested locales. Taman Tumbina Bintulu’s butterfly park has this species as well.