Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Bota Kanan Tuntung River Terrapin Centre
Bota Kanan, Perak

  Perak Malaysia Budget Travel Guide

Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre, located 40km south of Ipoh, Perak, was established by the Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department in 1967 to protect the population of tuntung, or river terrapin. These are similar to the tortoises found at Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang. These amphibians are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In Peninsular Malaysia, there are 17 species of tortoises and turtles. Of these, 10 species are freshwater tortoises or terrapins, and of these 10, two are river terrapin, Batagur baska and Callagur borneonsis.

Until the late 1960's river terrapins were plentiful in Sungai Perak. This is especially true in places such as Kampung Teluk Kepayang, Pulau Padang and Kampung Layang-Layang. However, destruction of their habitat along with the collection of their eggs have brought their numbers down at an alarming rate. In addition to human causes, natural changes to their environment, including silting, changes in the river flow and water pollution also affected the tuntung population.

The Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre helps to protect the tuntung. In addition to educating the public and doing research on the habitat of the river terrapin, the Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre also maintain a nesting area and hatchery. Every year the centre releases 500 to 600 young terrapins into the river.

The river terrapins at the Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre.

How to go to the Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre

From Ipoh, look out for the roadsign pointing to Bota Kanan. Upon reaching Bota Kanan, search for the sign pointing to the Pusat Pembiakan Tuntung Bota Kanan - you may have to ask around. The Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre is open every day from 8.30am- 4.30pm. Entrance is free. The best time to go is between 10am and 11am, when the terrapins are fed.

The river terrapins at the Bota Kanan Tuntung Centre.

Like armoured vehicles, the river terrapins at Bota Kanan.

Return to Exploring Malaysia

Sifu and family visit Bota to see the tuntung, the royal adopted amphibians, do not missed to visit the centre and see the endangered species only found in Bota.  It was a useful visit, an extension of bertandang event in Tronoh last Saturday, the 17 July 2010, ending up in Sungai Durian to a feast of beautiful prawns, kampong food and durians from Gopeng.  What a fantastic journey in a convoy of five cars but the tuntungs was a fantastic sight.

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