A group of undergraduate students accompanied by lecturers and postgraduate students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Fakulti Pertanian LestarI) visited BSBCC today. This study visit is a great platform for them to learn about the importance of conserving biodiversity and our environment, which is also being incorporated as part of the student's coursework. All of them were given guided tour to the observation platforms to observe the cheeky Sun Bears. We hope this visit would be useful for their studies and thanks for choosing BSBCC!!
Text by Seng Yen Wah Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
Today, an estimates two year old, sub-adult Male Bear known as BJ, was sent to BSBCC by Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU), the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). This Bear is now the 60th Bear to have been rescued by BSBCC. On 19th of February 2017, he was purchased in Kampung Sonsogon, Pitas with the price of RM300 when he was just five months old. After that, he was being sent to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park on 2nd of March 2017. BJ is in good health condition. Fur is shiny black and he appears to be bright and alert. He weighs 33.8kg.
BJ was sent to BSBCC by Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU), the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and arrived at 5.25pm.
Bear Care Team member is carrying BJ to the bear den.
His history is still a mystery. Within the wild, a Sun Bear cub will naturally stay with their Mother until they reach the age of two or three years, where they then venture off as a solitary Bear. BJ was found at a young age, without his Mother, leaving an explanation that the Mother was poached and killed, and BJ an orphaned cub. Every Bear Mother has a natural instinct to protect and raise their healthy cubs, therefore abandonment, by the Mother, is not a true explanation to finding Sun Bear cub alone, like BJ.
He was alert during his first arrival. This is a totally new environment for him and would need time to adapt to his new surroundings. We will keep you updated on his progress. From now, BJ will receive good care from the BSBCC Bear Care Unit. We hope he will gain courage and strength, to be able to return back to his natural home and become a REAL WILD BEAR again in the future!
In Sabah, the Sun bear species are a “Totally Protected” species, under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment, 1997. On the 1st of September, 2016, Sabah State Assembly passed the Wildlife Conservation (Amendment) Enactment 2016 comes into force. The enactment states that anyone who is caught hunting/attempting to hunt a Sun Bear will face:
A fine of/not less than RM 50,000 and not more than RM100,000 or,
Imprisonment for not less than six months and not more than five years or, both.
It is important to remember that we have the opportunity to Save the Sun Bear’s and Say NO to Illegal Poaching! You could make the difference in their life.
A group of students, teachers, and parents from SK Nalapak came to BSBCC for a study visit today. Introduction on the Sun Bears were given to them before they were guided up to the viewing platform to view our rescued bears. They even managed to observe a bear sleeping on a tree through the spotting scope! It was an exciting moment for all of them as it was also their first time visiting the centre. Hope they learned a lot from this visit and will help to spread the awareness to save the Sun Bears ;)
Saturday is one of the perfect day (actually everyday is a perfect day :P) to bring the young ones for a recreational visit, so why not come to our centre to learn about the bears? ;)
We received two school groups for a study visit today, kindergarten kids from Kinabatangan (Tabika Kg Paris) in the morning and primary school kids from Beluran district (SK Golong) in the afternoon. The children were accompanied by their teachers and parents, and all were excited as this was the first time for them to visit and see a real bear.
A briefing about the Sun Bears was given by our BSBCC staffs, before guiding them to the viewing platform to observe our rescued Sun Bears. Before wrapping up the visit by giving out informative posters to the school representatives, the children were given some activity to deepen their knowledge about Sun Bears.
Thanks again for choosing BSBCC as part of year end school visit!
Work on the 2nd Observation Platform and Forest enclosures (Pen A, B, C and K) were undertaken on 13th August 2018 to repair the severe damage from fallen trees due to wind and rain storms. Damaged trees avoid any potential accidents in future, and forest enclosure fences were repaired that. The design of 2nd Observation Platform was revamped to accommodate more visitors and repair works were completed on 16th November 2018 before reopening to the public on 17th November 2018.
Text by Susantie Saliman Photos by Susantie Saliman, Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
Henlo! Santie here and you’re about to read about my magical life in BSBCC.
Well, first and foremost, just like any other folks, I had no idea on how my 10 weeks internship at BSBCC would change me into a whole new person when first applying. BSBCC was the one and only agency that I applied for, and it turned out that I had got the placement. Hooray!
Me posing proudly with a sacksful of coconut husks on my shoulder.
So a little bit about myself, I am a 21 year old, 2nd year Zoology student at the Malaysia Sarawak University (UNIMAS) from Kota Belud, Sabah. I am a voluntary animals’ slave, naughty, spoilt, loud and outspoken girl, who was here for my 10 weeks of industrial training. So let’s start off with….
My Buddy Keeper
My internship life here wouldn’t be as fun as I experienced without my Buddy’s guide. His name is Mizuno Merek Men, people call him Awin. He’s the strongest keeper in my point of view. He is muscular – physically and mentally (HAHA). By working alongside him, for 10 weeks, I gradually get stronger as days passed by. He taught me on how to deal with working life, hence matured me in many aspects. He trained me to become tougher. Awin became a very big influence to my new addiction of body fitness. He gave me courage to keep moving on when I was about to give up, as well as always being there when needed. He became a super-protective brother of mine and the only staff member that I cried to a lot. Even though I’ve thanked him multiple times, I still need to thank him again, for providing me the never-ending support, care, comfort, attention, hospitality and all. Without him, I would still be my old weak self.
Working environment and Staffs From the moment I stepped into the centre until the very last day of working, I received excellent hospitality that I never experienced anywhere before. I couldn’t ask for more. The first day of work even felt like I had been working there for years.
From left: Ejam, Boboy, Me and Amanda The 4 of us always hanging out together with Mizuno
A dinner with Dr. Wong (p/s He cooked all the meals by himself)
The staff at BSBCC are wonderfully friendly and were always ready to share their stories with me. I adore every one of them. They’re very well experienced and worth more than gems. Some people look down on them because some of them didn’t get the chance to attend higher education, but I never looked at them that way. I treasure these peeps in my treasure box inside my heart.
To be honest, working here can be very tiring. I witnessed some volunteers and interns being so exhausted. This wasn’t the same for me. Maybe I was just too passionate, hence I did everything voluntarily because I know everything done was all for the sake of the bears. The fact that I was working in a joyful environment with all days filled with laughs and fun, made me enjoy this kind of fatigue. Even during the last day of work, I still wanted to work the next day. It was so heart-breaking to leave these big-hearted peeps behind.
Posing proudly with our last project which was done on our very last day of work.
Doing nest balls and fresh ginger leaves enrichment with APE volunteers, Mizuno and Amanda
During our Industrial Training supervisor visit, Dr. Roslianah
The Bears This is the best part (and teary). I never imagined how working close to big mammals would feel. But thank God, fate brought me here and I got to experience working close with the adorable, smallest bear species in the world. I got to know them more – anatomically, behaviourally, as well as their personalities, diet, and all.
In the picture: Mamatai
I loved every single bear including the ones in the quarantine area, even though I never worked close with them. All of them deserve to get loved hence, I have no specific favourite bear. From Amaco, Panda, Chin, Along, Simone, Kudat, Noah, Nano, Wawa, Dodop, Mary, Boboi, Kitud, Tan Tan, Sunbearo, Loki, Ronnie girl, Montom, Susie 2, Kala, Rungus, Ah Lun, Julaini, Fulung, Ah Bui, Bermuda, Ronnie boy, Phin, WanWan, Mamatai, Om, Sigalung, Cerah, Jelita, Susie, Kuamut, Manis, Linggam, Kina, Sika, Soo, Logan, Romolina, and Diana. I love them all.
In the picture: Fulung
I wish someday, they’ll all get back to the wild where they belong. The thought of not being able to see them closely, no longer feeding them, breaks my heart. 10 weeks at BSBCC is more than enough for to become strongly attached with the bears. How much I wish they know that I love them and that I want them to live the happy life that they’re supposed to.
In the picture: Noah
Outreach – Education Team Besides working at the Bear House, I also got involved in outreach programmes on two occasions with the Education Team. I also assisted visitors at the observation platform several times. The hardest part for me here is that, I am really bad at talking and persuading people, especially the locals. It’s a sad fact that foreigners were more interested in the conservation effort of sun bears compared to the locals. On the other hand, through outreach programmes, I got to know many new big-hearted people from conservation sectors and I enjoyed exchanging stories with them.
Bjorn Hala Last but not least, I stayed at the staffs’ house called Bjorn Hala for a month and a half (6 weeks). By staying here, I learned to live in a moderation and became attached with some of the staff who also live here - Mizuno, Boboi, Becca and an intern from University Science Malaysia (USM), Ummu Atiyyah. These gems had cooked me meals throughout my stay here (because I’m a lazy cooker) hence, results in me being so clingy with them.
To sum up, I had a very wonderful time throughout my internship period here. Working at BSBCC hasn’t only taught me about working life and conservation. It taught me what life is and how to deal with it – strong and maturely. I am beyond grateful for being given the opportunity to work at BSBCC and meeting lots of new people who are gems to me. Even though I am no longer working at the centre, I will never stop spreading awareness to the world. The bears and the people here will always be in my heart. Thank you BSBCC ♥
On the 13th of November 2018 ago, we are happy to welcome a group of 22 students and 2 teachers from American International School of Hong Kong. This group was accompanied by 3 staff from APE Malaysia. The visit startes with an introduction talk about sun bears and BSBCC by Mdm Risnayati.
Then the students were brought to the observation platform to see the sun bears in the forest enclosures. In addition, the students were given a form of bear observation that they need to complete within 20 minutes of observation.
Thanks to enthusiastic and passionate team from APE Malaysia for taking these students to visit our Centre and not forgetting their kind donations to the bears.