Sarawak, Malaysia: Pioneering Conservationist Remembered
A graduate in ecology, Proud came to Sarawak in the 1970s with a plan to implement a nature conservation project in the forested areas in Sarawak and monitor the key wildlife species.
With Proud’s help, the Semenggoh Wildlife Center, Sarawak’s first nature reserve, was set up in 1975 with the primary goal of providing a sanctuary for orangutans who were injured, orphaned, or kept captive as illegal pets.
The nature reserve, which started with the objective of providing refuge for endangered mammals, birds, and reptiles is at present the biggest orangutan rehabilitation center in Sarawak.
Apart from orangutans, the nature reserve is also a habitat for rare flora and fauna including the giant squirrel, pigmy squirrel, gibbons, and splendid varieties of birds.
Proud also spent a considerable time documenting the various species of animals in the Bako National Park and helped in managing the area. Established in 1957, during the British colonial period, Bako is the oldest national park in the Kuching district in Sarawak.