The best enrichment for the bear cub is another bear. Romolina and Logan spend more time learning how to be in a beautiful friendship, and to be happy, agile sun bears after all that they have been through in the past.
Little Logan breaks the termite mounds with its sharp claws to expose hundreds of yummy termites then uses its superb long tongue to lick up the termites inside. He acts as "Forest Doctor" to treat the health of forest!
Logan is the youngest male cub (estimated eight months old) that we have here at BSBCC. He was found, abandoned near Lokan River, Kulu-Kulu Village in Sabah. He was surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to BSBCC on the 19th of May, 2018. Once Logan was found, it was evident he was missing his left thumb which left his front paw disformed. On the 7th of June, 2018 Logan first ventured out into the forest. He is so excited and alert with the surroundings. He is following behind his caretaker and explores around the forest slowly. Our caretakers have brought him out to the forest for just over two months now and he is becoming more at ease with the forest. Logan is no longer following behind but leading the caretaker where they should go that day. If he starts heading back when caretaker is not following his pace, Logan will even try get the caretaker’s attention to take him somewhere else.
A wild animal will always have their wild instinct. Logan has performed well in the forest day by day through his growth in climbing, digging and foraging skills. He has proved his foraging skills through finding many different types of invertebrates, just in one day, including ants and termites! Ants and termites are the most important protein source for sun bears in the forest. He is an expert at finding the termite nests mound; Logan will start by destroying the termite mound, digging into the nest and then consuming as many as possible. Logan is playing his part by being a forest doctor and maintaining the termites and wildlife, keeping the trees safe healthy.
Logan is a great climber. He can climb up to 4 to 5 metres. He is an explorer. He will try out every possible tree branch in order to climb a tree and practice holding his balance, even though he does fail often. It is said that, “Practice makes perfect”, which we can see Logan continuing to do, in order to perfect his climbing skills. Logan is a playful and naughty bear. He loves to climb up to the top of a small tree, so that he can bend the tree down to reach the forest floor. The tree is not the only thing that he loves to climb, with his favourite thing to climb being the lianas.
Logan seems to enjoy being in the water. He knows how to easily find the water and loves to soak his body with the water. Before he goes into the water, he will check and take a look at the water level at the stream side. He will not enter the water when it is too high, as sometimes it is even taller than him! Nonetheless, he attempt to search in another site that will have water ponds or a river for him to enjoy. Soaking his body in water is a must for Logan, for every time he is in the forest. On days that it rains, Logan will become hyperactive with pure enjoyment; water is a simple pleasure that could make a bear happier in the forest.
Many people will ask what a sun bear will do when encountering another animal: Logan has encountered with the macaques before and immediately became alert as well as slightly insecure. He ran to the surrogate mother, which is a natural for a bear cub wanting to get protection from the mother bear. He stayed close to the caretaker and checked the surroundings as he remained close to his surrogate Mother. He gave a warning bark to the macaques when the individuals would come close, as he felt threatened and will try to retreat from them again.
Logan is thriving daily, with his improvement becoming more and more evident. He is more confident in the forest, which is key for the rest of Logan’s journey here at BSBCC. We hope this is the start of the road to Logan’s freedom and eventual reintroduction back into the forest. This is the biggest hope for a bear, to be reintroduced back to their real home where he belongs.
Text by Seng Yen Wah Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
We are the two little bear cubs, Logan and Romolina
Logan and Romolina are the bear cubs we have at BSBCC. Both of them are estimated at eight months old. Even though the same age, Romalina has permanent teeth and canines, whereas Logan still has his milk teeth and canines, with a curved shaped jaw. Logan has a bigger body size than Romalina, due to the gender difference. Both of these cubs have come to BSBCC with a different story.
Logan is a male bear cub. He was found at Lokan River, Kulu-Kulu Village in Sabah. When he first arrived, Logan was small and skinny, with the owner claiming that Logan was abandoned during the crossing of a large river with his Mother, leaving his left front paw maggoty and hairless. As a result, his left front paw has developed abnormally. The owner surrendered him, after keeping him for roughly three months, to the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) on 19th of May 2018, who sent Logan to BSBCC on the same day.
Romolina is a female bear cub. She was kept as a pet for roughly three months at Romol Village, Sapulut. The villager surrendered her after Bob Hartley and Virgil Joon Gunting negotiated with the villager. They sent her to the SWD who the transferred her to BSBCC on 7th of July 2018. As these bears are of such similar ages, we decided to brighten their day and integrate the bear cubs. Logan is a friendly bear. He is curious about the presence of other bears and wants to get close and initiate play fighting with his new friends. Romolina decided to make things difficult. Romolina is more attached with humans and this integration was the first time she became close to another bear. She started to defend herself by vocalizing and tries to give a warning to Logan, as she felt insecure. However, Logan is brave and playful, therefore tries his best to get to know about Romolina despite her insecurity.
First met up for Logan and Romolina!
Romolina shows alert with the presence of Logan.
The day starts to get better. Romolina still uses her vocalisations, but only to warn Logan that she does not like his methods of play. However both bears show that they enjoy playing with each other through their soft biting and pawing. They spent more time playing in the hammock than on the ground. Time on the ground was spent chasing and running after each other within the enclosure, just like the characters from the cartoon “Tom and Jerry”. Both bears fill each other’s times with fun and excitement, showing they really enjoy being around each other.
They are playing on the circle platform.
Soft biting is one of the bear playing ways!
Time to play fight!
Pacing has shown to be one of the stress-related behaviour. This stress-related behaviour may have been caused by the bear’s past life, especially if kept within small cages such as Romolina. When they are integrated, Logan will interrupt Romolina’s pacing which has helped to reduce her stress-related behaviours and time spent performing them. This has shown to be an alternative way and also the best way to help her! Logan and Romolina have been sharing food together but only when it is not Romolina’s favourite food, corn. Romolina wants all the corn to herself and will give Logan a warning if he tries to take her corn away. Other than that, sharing the food has been successful. Sometimes they fight but it will not affect their friendship. We really hope Logan and Romolina can grow up happily together, gain the courage and strength to return to the forest together!
Text by Seng Yen Wah Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
Romolina has just finished her 30 day submission to quarantine! She is settling in well at BSBCC. A full body check-up has been conducted by Dr.Nabila Sarkawi who is a veterinarian from Sabah Wildlife Department. Based on the growth condition of her teeth, we found out she is an estimated age of six months instead of four months old. This is because some of her current teeth which have grown through recently, are now permanent and her adult teeth. Romolina was found alone in the forest before being kept as a pet at Romol Village, Sapulut, in the interior division of Sabah, where she lived her life in a small cage. She was rescued by Bob Hartley and Virgil Joon Gunting, who had found out that a villager was keeping Romolina as a pet. They intended to rescue her so they negotiated with the villager who agreed to hand the young cub over to them. The villager said that he/she had kept Romolina for a duration of roughly three months and fed her sausages, porridge and fruits. The improper diet caused Romolina to have a smaller body size. Now that she is being fed a proper, nutritious diet in the care of BSBCC and she now weighs 8.8kg.
Romolina seems to be attached to humans. When the caretakers are not around, she will suckle and vocalize to seek comfort and safety. Romolina had lost her mother bear, therefore we now have keepers as her surrogate mother. What can the surrogate mother do? Keepers will spend time and play fight with her. Play fighting could teach her how to defend herself. Defence skills is one of the most important survival skills for the bear’s natural rainforest habitats, which can protect themselves from predators. Besides the companionship from the keepers, Romalina has also been introduced to many types of enrichments to use throughout her days. Enrichment is a common name for the bears TOYs which can stimulate the action of natural behaviours that we would observe in non-captive Sunbears. Romolina is having different enrichments from day to day! But, her favourite toy is the warm, soft and comfy towel! Romolina is a detailed explorer. She will spend a lot of time exploring the enrichments made for her. Thanks to the care taker, Jeniur who made her a circle platform. She loves to sleep up there. Before sleeping Romalina will adjust and fidget until she finds the perfect spot to fall asleep and snooze like a baby!
Romolina is a curious bear who explores her environment through continuous sniffing. She loves milk and also loves to keep the milk on her body, by soaking her body in the milk tray. But she does not enjoy her body being too wet and fur remaining damp. Romolina is a good climber. She always climbs up and down to search and explore her environment. She is always very observant to her current surroundings and will keep checking and watching events that happen around her.
Romolina has lacked a mother’s love since young age, which makes her feel insecure. The way to help her is integrating her with other bears; making a bear friend can allow them to learn from each other and spend time together. The best enrichment of a bear is another bear! We are looking forward to the integration between her and her bear friend Logan, and hope they will get along well. The cute and lovely friendship is already starting to form between these two little bears. Please stay tuned for the updates to the start of this wonderful friendship! With the help of her friend Logan, the care of keepers and the love from you all, we hope Romolina will grow to into a real bear!
Found abandoned near Lokan River, Kulu-Kulu Village in Sabah and kept in a cage for three months as a house pet. He was then surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to BSBCC on the 19th of May, 2018. Every year, orphaned sun bears are rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department or are surrendered by local people. Sun bear cubs are targeted for the illegal pet trade, hunted for food or used in traditional medicine. It is believed that their mother will be killed so that the poacher can snatch the bear cub. In the wild, sun bear cubs will spend the first two to three years of their lives with their mom. Without his mother to teach him the skills he needs, the sun bear becomes incapable of being released back into the wild and they must rely on our rehabilitation support.
Logan was found alone in the forest and then kept as a pet. But he is in safe hands now and settling in well at BSBCC
The rehabilitation process after his arrival starts with strong bonding with his surrogate mother (bear care taker), where he slowly gains trust, strength and can be a wild bear again. The surrogate mother then will be assisting in daily walks in the forest with the bear cub to give them a second chance to learn all of the skills needed to survive in the forest.
The youngest male sun bear cub, Logan has settled happily into his new life. You can see how much little Logan has grown in that time and how chubby he is now with a weight of 15.10 kg.
With a beautiful yellow sun bear little crescent chest mark
This brave bear that has lost his mother endured a lifetime of suffering in captivity and has never known the wild freedom he was born to have. On the 7th of June 2018, Logan finally felt the sunshine and grass under his little paws again!
Logan will get to play in the forest, learn to forage, climb trees and explore the forest. He learns to trust every day. The surrogate mother is helping little Logan to learn just how to be a wild bear!
Learn to be wild bear again!
Day by day it is such a blissful time in the morning, he knows when we are going to start walking him in the forest. He will quickly climb down from his basket and without hesitation he will run into the dense forest. He is developing very well and showing great progress with his forest skills.
No surprise – he is always busy foraging and filling his tummy! Sun bears are opportunistic omnivores. For Logan, he loves to dig by using his sharp curved claws and strong teeth in search his favourite wild food - termites, ants, insects, pill millipedes and bird carcasses. When he finds something for his own, he is very happy about it! Sometimes Logan will stand up on his hind legs to get a better smell or view of something that attracted his attention.
Busy Logan! Finding favorite food
Logan digs into decayed wood with his long claws
Lots of yummy food to find here!!
Now for some foraging
Logan checks a dead log for termites
Logan is licking ants off the tree
Yummy! Bird Carcass!
Favourite Termite Mounds! He uses his sharp claws and teeth to break the termite mounds
Favourite Termite Mounds! He uses his sharp claws and teeth to break the termite mounds
Logan was missing his left thumb and his left front paw has developed abnormally, but these have never made give him up and he is always full of enthusiasm climbing trees. He loves to learn new skills and develops his small muscles every day! He is an agile climber where he uses his powerful legs, feet with hairless soles and sharp claws to climb the tree. Right after foraging he will choose a tree he loves and climb it. He learns the way to climb trees or liana and just enjoys the beautiful sun view! He is so brave! He always wants to make the most of what he has got! Only sometimes he will easily get tired after he tries to climb too many trees.
His true ability and agile shine through when up in the tree canopy where he belongs
Once out to the forest, he quickly climbs up into the trees
Excellent at climbing!
Explore my new HOME in the dense rainforest
He does a balancing act on the small branch!
He is determined to make the best of his life !!
Logan is comfy on Liana
He is so brave. He always wants to make the most of what he has got
How to stay COOL on tree!!
Logan have an incredible sense of smell!
When he gets excited roaming the forest he will start to play fight and wrestle with his surrogate mother. He loves to play with anything and everything.
He absolutely loved it- he will rolling and running around!
He is a very active little bear! He knows the way to the stream and enjoys dipping, chilling in the stream or laying his snout deep in the water to beat the hot weather! Logan takes great pleasure enjoying his freedom each day in the forest.
Nothing feels BEST than a dip in the stream
For little Logan, his newfound freedom has meant to him: tearing decayed wood, finding his favourite food such as termites, sun bathing, and soaking in the stream. We cannot wait to see the next challenge he has to learn to grow every day.
He is a cheeky and intelligent bear to enjoy all things in the forest
How relaxed and comfortable can a cub be
Laze on the forest floor
Logan take a nap
Looking at these pictures, it is hard believe he is a huge part of the forest life now and is also catching his daily experience in life. Watching him is like watching any bear cubs in the wild!
He looks so at ease outside the forest
Miss my mum to venture together in the forest
Little Logan learn to trust and realize life with Tall trees, grass, insects, macaques at the forest
Logan will adapt well to life as a WILD sun bear and slowly he learns to leave his past as a pet behind him