Over the following few days my schedule was packed with meeting officials from Sabah Wildlife Department, NGOs and the LEAP team, accompanied by their handshakes. "Wong is back!" However, these warm welcomes were also accompanied by the bad news of more baby sun bears having been confiscated by the Wildlife Department or being kept as pets by villagers. Even worse, was the sad news of the death of Ah Chong on the morning of Feb 15th. Ah Chong was a sweet but old male sun bear who came to us 10 years ago. The necropsy of Ah Chong performed by Dr. Diana Ramirez on the next day indicated that his death was due to Congestive Heart Failure caused by an abnormal heart that associated with genetic abnormality. May you rest in peace Ah Chong! You will be missed in our life always!
Today marks the first week I am back to Sabah. Over the last seven days, we discussed many plans and events that to be take place in the near future: a fund raising event that will take place in Sepilok that involves local corporate and community; a fund raising event took place on facebook, an ambitious research project using camera trapping data, GIS, and radio-telemetry techniques to study the important of corridors at Kinabatangan River area involving multiple focal wildlife species including sun bears; a phylogenic study on sun bear across SE Asia; and on Feb 24th, I am going to Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsula Malaysia to assist a graduate student studying wild sun bears.
A busy schedule lies ahead for sure for sun bears and the development of BSBCC.
I am finally home. It is good to be home!