By Siew Te Wong
I am humbled and honored to have been select as one of the 40 Wildlife Heroes across the world who featured in the Book "Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving."
Thank you the authors of the book, Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken for your kindness to feature me and my work on sun bears in this book.
Thank you all of you who supported and helped me over the years, and keep supporting and helping on our work on sun bears.
Without your support, I would not be what I am today.
Without your help, we would not be achieving what we have achieved today.
Together we can, we have, and we will make a different!
Thank you all!
By Hiu Yeat Har
March 18, 2012
Cleaning the bear droppings is not a hard job at all. Most bear poops are not stinky because the bears at BSBCC eat vegetables and fruits. Due to this 'herbivorous' diet, the bear poops are mostly fibre or liquid based. Tao and I do not ...have problem with poops though some may think they are smelly and disgusting. Anyway, all the bear dropping are given back to the nature as natural fertilizers as we usually toss them at the nearby forest floor. We also feed some of the bears here with ginger plants as food supplement or we sometimes use them as enrichment for the bear cubs. The bears like to eat the ginger plant leaves while the stalks are not their favorite. However, we can replant the stalks and they can grow again.
March 19, 2012
Mamatai is one of the female bears in the new bear house. Because her house is close to the kitchen area, so we see her more often than any other bears. I always think she has a character; she looks more like a human than a bear. I saw her shook the grill bar door twice. I could sense her frustration. Sometimes she just leans against the door, looking at us, telling us something that we don't really comprehend. I wish I knew bear words, I wish I could mind communicate with her and understand her thought and I wish most she could go back to the wild and lead a normal llife. And I wish most the world is still the same as it used to be, surrounded by green and filled with fresh crisp air.
March 20, 2012
It's not fun to be in this small cage. Trust me, you don't want to stay in there for long, not even for a minute especially under the sun. Imagine people put the sun bear in this cage for years. What do you think the cage will do to the sun bear?
March 20, 2012
Today is the last day for the traveler volunteers. It's time to say goodbye again after nine days working together. Adieu!— with Rebecca Price, Daniel Majilir, Wendy Phillips and Cliph Harman.
March 20, 2012
I finally got the shot of the sun bear's tongue. Sun bears have very a long tongue which allows them to get their food in deep holes. One of the bears called Bermuda in the new bear house always gets its porridge in a ball. And there is... a hole on the ball from where Bermuda sticks its tongue in and gets the porridge out with its tongue. It's always fun to see him eating his porridge with his front feet holding the ball and his long tongue getting the porridge out from the ball.
Well done Bermuda!
By Hiu Yeat Har
March 9, 2012
Estee and I have gone through our third day of volunteering work. We were much more efficient than the previous day after knowing the routine work. Finally, we have time to take a closer look at the sun bears observing them just few feet aw...ay from us. We notice that the bears have powerful claws. Besides using them to climb up and down, the bears also use them to grip on a targeted object. Once an object is locked, it can never get away from the bear claws. We also learn how strong their arms are. Humans can never have the strength equivalent to a sun bear. When walking on the floor or soil, they only depend on its bear pads which are hairless. Sun bears are also 'powerful coconut breakers'. All these bear facts fascinate us, and we would like to learn more about them whenever we can in the days to come.
Having breakfast at the Sepilok Cafeteria with other volunteers and Wai Pak (one of the full-time staff at BSBCC). The second guy on the right of the picture is Rushan is leaving today, so we are having a farewell meal with him. He is from KL and will be heading to Minessota for his master degree in September. We are all glad to know him coz he is extremely friendly, helpful and funny. We will miss him.
Yesterday, Tao and I took a day off to visit Labuk Bay. It's about 28km away from Sepilok where we work. We took a taxi (cost us RM 100) and reached there to catch the 9:30am feeding time. The wetland area is in the oil palm estate itself. Compared with Klias Wetland in KK, I had a closer encounter with the proboscis monkeys, Oriental Pied Hornbills and Silver leaf monkeys. To tell the truth, I appreciate wildlife more than any stage in my life now. They are simply beautiful and their existence adds more colors to our world, and I think we should try all we can to make sure their survival is not threatened. Our existence lies in their hands and not vice versa.
The bears had corns today. When an ear of corn was thrown on the top of the cage, it didn't get through the holes. But it didn't upset the bears at all. They climbed up the cage and used their claws to pull the corn through the holes easi.ly. Then they used their claws again to grip on the fresh corn tightly and shear the husks with their teeth. Most ate it on the floor but one enjoyed its delicious snack in its own basket. A few lay on the floor and used their forearms' claws to hold the corn while munching it with their teeth. It's fun to see how bears shear a fresh ear of corn. I found that the more time I spend with the bears, the more I feel they are human like. I somehow feel sad to see them living in captivity and not able to enjoy a care free life like us. And so I ask myself what rights do we have to take their habitat and life away?
Wong took us to attend a talk given by Dr. Pilai Pooswad from Thailand on Tuesday night. Dr. Pilai is an internationally recognized hornbill expert and she is also the only hornbill conservationist in South East Asia. She builds, modifies and repairs hornbill nesting areas for the hornbills to breed, converts the hornbill poachers to hornbill research assistants and collects years of data to find out if her effort has increased the population of hornbills in the designated areas. After listening to her talk, I wonder how can we not admire a woman and her team who devote their lifetime to create a community-based conservation? How can we not support their work and thier passion trying to maintain the balance of our ecocystem so that we can have a better place to live in?
The new bear house has many 'secret' doors. If I'm not mistaken, each cage has 5 doors. There is one door leading to the forest enclosure, the other two are for the bears to go in and out from cage to cage if both are open, the bigger door is for the convenience of the staff either to clean the cage or for other 'human' purposes. There is only one door which I am not sure what it is used for and haven't had the chance to find out yet. It is placed within the bigger door itself. In fact, there is also another opening which is more like a 'window' where we slide the food tray in and out during meal time. In my view, all these doors allow the bears to have more space to move around and also ensure the safety of the staff whose bear friends may get rough sometimes. Spending an average about six hours each day in this new bear house is like spending my time at my own house taking care of all the family members and handling all the house chores. It's my second home now. Its sight, its smell and its sounds evoke every sense of my mind and I know deep down my tears will give away the day when I leave the place and the bears behind.
The project manager of BSBCC Ng Wai Pak gave two talks about providing enrichment for sun bears and orang utans. Volunteers from both Orang Utans Rehabilitation Center and BSBCC attended the talks just the past Thursday and Friday afternoo...n. I have never heard of enrichment activities for animals before this. I have never learned in my text books about the importance of providing either artificial or natural environment or programs that can help to create mental stimulation and encourage natural behaviors for the animals in captivity. To be frank, I have never been raised to understand animals need a good quality of life as we do. I have never been taught the physical and the psychological well-being of the animals should be our concern. In fact, the ignorance about all living things on the earth has inflicted many pains, fears and deaths to the animals. And therefore, it's time to change. It's time to give ourselves a chance to know 'who' they are and what they need.
Rockin’ 4 the Environment- SUN BEAR ROCK – Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Rockin' 4 the Environment takes place from from 21 - 28 April 2012. Play a part in raising awareness and funds for the SUN BEARS. Click on the link above and find out how.
DoPPel Kafe will be hosting a flurry of music based events during that week. So we're really looking forward to doing our part for Earth Day in April! How about you?
Bands can participate too! Click here to register your band and help us ROCK 4 the Environment!
Performers signed up to ROCK 4 THE ENVIRONMENT!
Be a part of the Earth Day revolution!
Be an advocate for the Sun Bears!
We'd like to thank every single member of the music community for participating in this awareness fundraiser! Let your voices be heard through time! Save the sun bears!
Handle with Care
Idzwan Johar & The The
Kim Sng (beatboxer) Lynnzay A.
Ten Thousand Talents
The Impatient Sisters
The Guitar Polygamy (comprising Wani Ardy and friends)
ZeroPoint.0 (Comprising beatboxers Malaysia Beatbox Challenge 2010 Champion Shazet, Anowl & Nawi)
Honey bears = Sun bears! Make the world a better place! Love the Sun Bears! Not for their fur$!. Not for their paws&!. Not for their brains for soup*!. Not for their skull as decor>! Love the Sun Bears for being one of the world's most beautiful living creatures.
Environmental Education Alliance South East Asia (EEASEA)
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)
Photographs courtesy BSBCC
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
We integrated Debbie the sun bear cub with Mary and Fulung for the first time on March 10th. The entire process started 10 days earlier on Feb 28th when we moved Mary at opposite side of the hall way to the den next to Debbie. Debbie's reaction toward Mary was very strong, huffing and barking on a defensive way whenever Mary made a move. Lack of sun bear's communication skills, poor Mary seemed to be confused and do not know what to do except sucking her feet (Mary suckles when she wants to seek comfort). We have to keep the den between Debbie and Mary empty to reduce contact between the two young bears because of Debbie's reaction.
The next day Debbie seemed to accept Mary's presence. She did not seem to be defensive nor aggressive and did not bark and huff at Mary like what she did a day before. She just watched Mary on a very curious way. We let Mary entered the middle empty den so that both bears can have contacts through the bars. Immediately Debbie was very interested on Mary, touching and scratching her gently whenever Debbie can reach Mary through the bars. Sometime Mary responded to Debbie by playing with her. However, Debbie was more proactive while Mary just sitting there to suckle her feet without paying much attention to Debbie. The induction between Debbie and Mary seem fine through the bars.
The next step was to move Fulung the yearling male sun bear on March 3rd to join Mary so that three of the sun bear yearling/cubs can be place together as a group. This time Debbie did not react much to the presence of Fulung. She seemed just fine to have Fulung as her neighbor without any conflict or aggression over the following week.
Finally the big day arrived on March 10th, we integrated Debbie with Fulung and Mary. Fulung is about one year and four months old. He is the biggest and oldest among the three bears. Mary is about one year and two months old and Debbie is the youngest, age about 8 month. Here I let the photos speak for themselves:
In order to prevent them from being too excited when first meet, we scattered their fruit snack- pumpkin and banana on that afternoon, on the floor. Just like what we expected, Fulung (left) and Debbie (right) get busy searching and eating their afternoon snack: banana (preferred) first, and pumpkin later. Mary was at the back of the den, checking out Amaco (an old male bear) behind the wall.
After all the banana was gone, play time begun. Like usual, Fulung would is always advantage being a bigger bear. He shows off his dominancy by standing up right on his hind limbs. Debbie, although being the youngest and smallest, never feels threatened by Fulung's size. She displays her jaw and teeth. Her message is clear, "do not mess around with me!"
Debbie on the right now standing up to show off her teeth and claws. She just never gives up quickly!
Mary now joins them. Instead of play fighting, she is more into the remaining fruits. This is a great photo to show the facial expression of Fulung (left) and Debbie (back).
Mary (right) decided to join the party. Fulung (left) let Debbie to bite his neck. With a lot of loose skin, the neck of the sun bear is like the armor of the bear to get closer to their opponent.
Now the three bears are in action together. Although a lot of teeth and claws in these play fight, they are completely harmless to each other.Fulung and Debbie have a lot of interactions at first. Mary is a bit slow by just watching.
Fulung: "I am bigger than you, Debbie!" Debbie: "So what??"
Like a wrestler, Fulung uses his bigger body to press Debbie down, and the countdown being...
After tens of minutes, Fulung started to feel boring and left Debbie.
Now is Mary's turn to play with Debbie (right).peI can tell by now Debbie (left) is very tired. She just wanted to lie down on her back and push Mary (right) away.At the end of the day, both bears are so tired!
1 March 2012, Kuala Lumpur -
The Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) presents Rockin’ 4 the Environment - SUN BEAR ROCK! in conjunction with the Earth Day celebrations from 21-28 April 2012.
Rockin’ 4 the Environment has so far piqued the interest of animal conservationists around the world and raises vital funds and awareness for conservation and environmental education oriented NGO's in Malaysia. So far, the program has contributed a total of RM55,000 since 2007 to its non-profit partners.
Led by a group of schoolteachers and musicians, and the International School of Kuala Lumpur the weeklong festival takes place at DoPPel Kafe @ Central Market Annexe in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and aims to raise a further RM35,000 for the plight of the endangered Sun Bears in Borneo.
This year, it has also gained the support of private sector partners like marketing & event solutions company - Go International Group Sdn Bhd, venue sponsor Central Market, environmental education partner - Eco-Knights and many more.
Hall of Fame
• 2010, DUGONG ROCK! raised RM8000+ for Kelab Alami Malaysia
• 2009, ORANGUTAN ROCK! raised over RM27,000 for the ORANGUTAN APPEAL UK to help support and raise awareness of the plight of the endangered Orang Utan species.
• 2008, TIGER ROCK! raised RM11,000+ for MyCat.
• 2007, TURTLE ROCK! raised RM7000+ for SeaTru (now known as TRRG)
Besides the fundraising efforts in Malaysia by the International School of Kuala Lumpur, there will also be other fundraising activities in neighbouring regions by Jakarta International School, Sinar Mas World Academy- Jakarta, Pasir Ridge International School- Balikpapan, Kalimantan, Indonesia, Singapore American School and United World College SEA in Singapore. Environmental Education Alliance Of South East Asia
ROCKIN’ 4 THE ENVIRONMENT
Calendar of Events 2012 SUN BEAR ROCKS!
Official Launch with Performances by school bands
Guest of Honour: Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (TBC)
Date: April 21, 2012 Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m Venue: Main Stage, Central Market
Arts, Music and Fun Festival for conservation awareness co-organised by three parties: Go International Group, The Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCCC) –open to the public (suitable for families with children).
SUN BEAR ROCKS!
University Invasion! Gig & Showcase by students on campus
Date: April 22, 2012 Time: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m Venue: Universiti Malaya campus & various
Awareness via Music – one day showcase event for to raise awareness about the Sun Bears coordinated by Eco-Knights for the Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCCC) –open to university & college students.
EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECT
Date: 23-26 April Time: School hours Venue: International School of Kuala Lumpur & various other schools
Educational workshops for conservation awareness and Sun Bear protection coorganised by EEASEA and BSBCC – open to school students.
SUN BEAR ROCK! OPEN MIC
Date: April 26, 2012 Time: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Venue: DoPPel Kafe Central Market Annexe Entry: RM5 entry
Upcoming musicians perform for environmental awareness.
SUN BEAR ROCK! ACOUSTIC SHOWCASE
Date: April 27, 2012 Time: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Venue: To be confirmed Entry: RM30 entry
Some of the Klang Valley’s top musicians go acoustic! Don’t miss this amazing night.
SUN BEAR ROCK! BAZAAR, FREE CONCERT & AUCTION
Date: April 28, 2012 Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Venue: Central Market & DoPPel Kafe Central Market Annexe
All-day environmental & arts bazaar complete with educational activities, seminars and featuring local NGO’s held at Central Market – the centre of the Arts. Concert features some of KL’s biggest names in the independent music scene. And join in the fun as we auction anything and everything! Bring something to contribute to the auction pool! ALL proceeds go to Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
SUN BEAR ROCK! CONCERT
Date: April 28, 2012 Time: 9 p.m. – late Venue: Central Market & DoPPel Kafe Central Market Annexe
For one night only, this grand finale concert will feature some of the top names in the independent music scene. From rock bands to DJs, expect to rock the night away with your friends! Be sure to book early! ALL proceeds go to Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
We’re also offering our popular ‘CARE FOR A SUN BEAR SCHEME’… PRICE INCLUDES ALL ACCESS PASS TO THE FESTIVAL.
Simply sign up by completing a form with your details and a donation of RM150 at any of the events, for your ‘Care for a Sun Bear’ pack. You’ll receive a pack of limited edition postcards of a Sun Bear family and a short story about at BSBCC. This is a great gift for any occasion - show you care, by helping make a real difference to Sun Bears’ lives!
PLIGHT OF THE SUN BEAR
The BSBCC is a joint project with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), which is responsible for the bears, the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), which is responsible for managing forest reserves, LEAP, and spearheaded by Malayan Sun Bear researcher and conservationist Wong Siew Te. An MOU has been signed and SWD and SFD have donated all of the land needed for the BSBCC. SWD has also donated buildings and veterinary expertise. In addition, the Sabah State Government supports this project and has agreed to match all funds raised for construction of the project dollar for dollar. This partnership with the state government is critical to ensure the long-term success of the project.
Rockin’ for the Environment presents an important opportunity to promote and increase awareness of the BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE – which will in turn help raise vital funds for the animals.
For further information visit: www.facebook.com/rockin4theenvironment
Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA):
Kenny Peavy firstname.lastname@example.org
Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre (BSBCC):
Siew Te Wong email@example.com
Go International Group Sdn Bhd (Go Intl PR & Event management)
Jasmine Low firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +603 772
7 0093 Mobile: +6017 623 0288
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Today's blog is simple.
I do not need to write many words.
Because a photo worth a thousand words.... hehe..
Let the pictures tell the story..
You can see sun bears like these photo ONLY in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Today as I do my routine walk in the forest enclosure of BSBCC to check on the sun bears, I saw Lawa the female sun bear climb a tree and rest on top of it. It was a dead tree full with lianas. I immediately used the Nokon sponsored D5000 and the 18-55 mm zoom lens to capture these images. Please see these photos or yourself to learn the amazing lifestyles of these bears in the tropical rainforest of Borneo. If I have a better zoom or telephoto lenses, I am sure I will take better photos. Anybody wanted to sponsor us a longer lens?
Only in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, you can see sun bear behave like a wild bear.
Only in BSBCC, you can see sun bear climb the tree and sleep on a tree.
Only in BSBCC, you can learn about the sun bear and their forest habitat.
BSBCC aims to conserve sun bear though animal welfare, education, rehabilitation and research.
We are half way there; please help us make it happen.
Please do what you do best to help us.
Please help sun bears.
Please visit http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/how-can-you-help-sun-bears/
BORNEAN SUN BEAR CONSERVATION CENTRE, a facility for sun bear conservation, rehabilitation, research & awareness, is looking for suitable candidates to fill the following positions to be based in Sepilok, Sandakan.
Post 1: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION OFFICER
• Degree in related field
• Fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia, (Chinese, Dusun, and other local language is a bonus)
• Excellent communication & interpersonal skills
• Experience in interpretation & outreach
• Computer literate (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc. Any extra would be a bonus!)
• Has a valid driving licence
Post 2: CENTRE COORDINATOR Requirements:
• Diploma / Degree in related field
• Fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia (Chinese is a bonus)
• Excellent administration & interpersonal skills
• Able to do basic book-keeping with basic knowledge of Quickbooks program is an advantage
• Computer literate (Word, Excel, Power Point etc. Any extra skills would be a bonus!)
• Has a valid driving licence
Post 3: ANIMAL KEEPER Requirements:
• PMR / SPM
• Has experience working with animals (preferred although not compulsory)
• Willing to work on weekend shifts
• Has a positive attitude and likes challenges
Interested candidates to send in their photo, resume & covering letter by 16 March 2012 to:
Email: email@example.com; or Fax: 088-270705
Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.