Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May The beautiful, majestic and the forgotten species Sun bears, we share this earth with these beautiful and adorable creatures !! Here are the photos for you to share to spread the word!!
SANDAKAN: Habitat loss and poaching have led to a decline of up to 30 per cent of the Malayan sun bear population in the last three decades, according to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). In Borneo, this smallest of the world’s eight bear species is also seeing a drop in numbers following their illegal capture for the pet trade and when they are wrongly perceived as pests and gunned down, said BSBCC founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.
The Polar Bear, Brown Bear, American Black Bear, Spectacled Bear, Sloth Bear, Giant Panda and Asiatic Black Bear are other better known bear species. Found throughout mainland Asia, Sumatra in Indonesia and Borneo, the exact number of sun bears in the wild is unknown, making it even more pressing toreduce pressure on a species that is classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve. Sun bears are also classified as a totally protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, providing it the same status as the Orang Utan and the Sumatran Rhinoceros.
Wong said the sun bear was divided into two sub-species – the Helarctosmalayanus malayanus and the Helarctos malayanus euryspilus, with the latter, smaller bear found only in Borneo. “In other words, sun bears in Borneo are even smaller than the sun bears found in other parts of Malaysia and the region.
We hope to share with more locals how fortunate we are that such a unique bear is found here in Borneo, and right here in Sabah," he said in a statement. He said the shrinking forest cover made poaching and capturing of wild bear seasier due to increased contact with human settlements. “Our centre is now holding 28 rescued bears. Some were illegally kept as pets and others were trapped in the forest, and sent here.
“Bears here are trained to adapt to the forest within an enclosed area as some have never been in the wild, having been kept as pets from a young age. They are then evaluated to see if they can be released into the wild,” he said. The centre is located adjacent to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, here.
"In Borneo, sun bears continue to face threat from habitat destruction and poaching. We need to protect the remaining forest cover if we are to secure the future of the sun bears and, at the same time, eliminate any poaching of these bears in the wild," Wong said. He said awareness activities would be stepped up once the centre was officially opened to the public, tentatively by early next year. -- BERNAMA
Damai is feast the leeches who stick inside her paw.
Do you ever wonder why Damai, 10 months-old female sun bear cub likes to eat beetle larvae, beetles, millipedes and other forest insects? This is because insects contain protein. When you see sun bears flipping decayed wood, climbing tree or digging into logs, this is generally the reason for them doing so. Beetles, millipedes and other forest insects also considered to be sun bears’ favorite food source beside termites. Damai eats insects by thrusting her paws into a log and grab a handful to eat. Her powerful claws are used to break into log and get access to the insects. She also detects the insects by her keen sense of smell. Damai flips over the decayed wood and get the insects with a few flicks of her long tongue. Damai gets lucky with these insects. They do sound crunchy when she feasted on them!!
Damai found a milipede. She is going to feast this delicious millipede !!
She was curious and play with the millipede.
Time to feast beetle !!
Damai have great sense of smell, which helps her in finding the food.
Foraging across the forest floor, Damai will eat practically anything edible she can find.
Damai will try her best to find out any insects hiding inside the log.
Damai has big claws that helps it climb tree, and a long tongue which it uses to extract insects from inside trees.
Damai keep digging until appear a hole to search insects.
Damai skim the forest floor in search of beetle, beetle larva, millipede and other insects !! Please help us spread the words. You can help preserve and protect wildlife and their habitat.
Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May Sun bear is an arboreal bear. In the wild, let look what Damai doing and spending at rainforest.
--- Digging ---
Damai is opportunistic omnivores that feed on termites, ants, beetles and other forest insect.
Damai is digging, foraging and exploring the decayed log.
Damai's sharp claws and long tongues make her adapt at reaching into termite mounds to locate food.
Damai use her strong strength for turning over logs to get colonial insects.
Decayed wood was one of the type of feeding site for sun bear.
--- Playing ---
She play with the milipede !!
She likes to breaking the twig and play with the leaves.
Stick holding during play !!
--- Climbing ---
Damai is a very good in tree climbing.
Damai attempt to climb a variety of trees in search of food, rest or for play.
With naked paws and long curved claws, Damai is well adapted for climbing trees.
Damai learn to find food amd avoid danger from animals or human by climbing trees.
--- Grooming ---
Damai busy grooming her paw to take off the leeches !! Sometimes the leech will become her meal.
She also will use her long tongue to take out the leeches.
--- Resting and Sleeping---
Taking nap time !!
--- Alert with stranger sound ---
Using her stong sense of smells and hears, Damai will alert surrounding sound of the area.
Every sun bears has their own unique patterns of chest mark. No two chest marks is the same like our finger print.
This is Damai's chest mark
With their forests getting chopped down and their babies sold as pets, we are rapidly losing our endangered sun bears. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) aims to conserve sun bear through education, research, rehabilitation, and improve welfare for captive orphan sun bears. We need your help to achieve these goals !! And if you care about sun bears, you won't want to be left out of the fight for their survival. They are depending on you !! Here we wishing all the teachers Happy Teachers day !! And wishing our BSBCC's CEO & Founder Wong Siew Te Happy Birthday !!
Mother's day is a special day to appreciate and think about all those wonderful mother out there. However this not only just the human ones, the animal ones too. Sun bear cubs depends and stay with their mum for about two years. Damai, the 10 months old sun bear cub was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), which became an orphan sun bear cub. Damai loss her mother and do not feel mother’s care anymore. Damai was learn herself how to survive in the wild. They are simply so cute and adorable, yet face so many challenges for surviving. Major threats to sun bears are habitat loss and commercial hunting. So please share to help us spread the word.
Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May It is only if we can raise awareness of these little known sun bears that we can ensure a place for them in the world. Lets hear your thought of what this little Damai is thinking? Please help us spread the words and loves !!