Along, a 6 year old male bear and Simone, an 8 year old female bear, are the newest arrivals at BSBCC. Both of them were kept in a Mini Zoo and Hot Springs in Tawau. In the January of 2016, they were surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department and were quarantined at Lok Kawi Zoo, Kota Kinabalu.
Hi, My name is Simone.
Along and Simone arrived on the same day. Along the journey, the hot weather and long hours meant they had gone through a lot in a same day. When Along first arrived at BSBCC, he was pacing aggressively inside the cage and kept barking at people, especially when they went close to him. Compared to Along, Simone was much calmer. Bear keepers used a lot of effort to move them to our cages. Now BSBCC is their new home.
I love my new home!!
In the very first week, the bear house was still a very new and strange place for them. Most of the time they stayed on the basket. They were very alert, especially Along. When people got close to Along, he would give them a warning bark and showed aggressiveness. Simone adapted faster than Along in this new environment. She likes to explore the enrichment. Before they were here, bear keepers prepared enrichment for them such as dry leaves and decayed wood. Simone shows a lot of curiosity and interest in the enrichment.
I love the smell of dried leaves.
My enrichment, dead wood.
All this enrichment is mine. Thanks Bear Keeper.
Besides that, they had no appetite in the beginning. This may be because we serve foods which are different than what they usually have and they were still very alert with the environment. Hence, we started to introduce different foods to them like nicely cut papaya, watermelon and so on. Lastly, we found out that both of them like to drink oats with milk. When we brought them the tray, they climbed down from the basket and waited for you and it’s their favourite food as well. Besides that, Simone loves honey. Conversely, Along likes coconut. Along likes to spend his time opening the coconut. When he swapped cage with Simone, he ate Simone’s coconut too. Simone did not mind her coconut being eaten by Along.
Oh, my coconut is here. I got a little bit busy with my coconut.
Now they have a good appetite. Along appears less aggressive. He spends more time exploring the environment through staying on the ground with dry leaves and dead woods. Simone spends most of her time on the enrichment. Besides this, she enjoys resting on the basket or sitting on the water container too. Now they are better, Along and Simone are staying happily in BSBCC.
Text by Ng Bee Ying & photo by Jocelyn Stokes On the 24th March 2014, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) received a new sun bear cub. Mr. Wong Siew Te, Founder & CEO of BSBCC and his team awaited the cub with great excitement, wondering how the bear is and what is the story behind this orphaned cub.
BSBCC team transferring the newly arrived sun bear cub out from the Sabah Wildlife Department vehicle
Wong observing the newly arrived cub
Wong and his team carefully carrying the cub in her translocation cage to the BSBCC quarantine area
BSBCC team carefully transferring the cub to her new cage to minimize stress to the cub
Now BSBCC has 33 rescued sun bears including this newly arrived cub. The cub moved in to a cage next to Sunbearo, a male sun bear cub that just arrived 2 weeks ago.
As she stepped in to her new cage, the new cub was pacing tensely in her quarantine cage, ignoring the warm milk, rice porridge and bananas that were prepared for her.
It took some time for her to finally calm down and exploring the dried leaves, climbing wood structures and food that was prepared by the staff in her cage.
When the cub was safely transferred to her new cage, everyone gathered and discussed about where this little cub came from
Like some of our confiscated bears, she was rear illegally by her previous owner, who bought the cub from a friend, in Ranau (West coast part of Sabah). Indeed, she was kept at the backyard of an inn for about 5 months. Again, this is another case of a sun bear being captured and raised illegally by irresponsible people. Hopefully with the care and love that we offer to this cub would help to keep her healthy and ready to be released back to the wild one day. We sincerely hope that people can stop having sun bear as pets. Sun bears are cute in the way they are and no one should take them away from their natural habitat. This will only be subsidiary to the interests of their owners, however it is cruel to keep any wild animal as pet and make them behave against their natural behavior.
New Straits Times, 16th March 2014 By Olivia Miwil | firstname.lastname@example.org KOTA KINABALU: Five Malayan sun bears were relocated to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sandakan recently, bringing the total of the protected species to 32 currently at the conservation centre. The five bears --four adults and a six-month-old cub-- were previously sheltered at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park after they were previously rescued by forest rangers or were handed in to the authorities by the public.
A full medical examination was conducted to ensure the bears were fit for the eight-hour transfer journey to the centre.
The centre’s chief executive officer, Wong Siew Te said it took his team three hours to unload and settle the bears at their new ‘home’.
"These bears are not part of those for public viewing, but we will continue to monitor and update the public on their progress, here," he added.
The centre is able to receive more bears now after the recent completion of a second bear house.
It will become a home to 34 bears, which include the recent batch and another two coming in by the end of the month.
Wong urged the public to surrender the animal to authority as it was an offense to keep Sun Bears in captivity or as pets.
"They are forest-dependent species and play important roles in the forest ecosystem as seed dispersers in the forest. Their roles are akin to engineers, doctors and farmers in the forest’s ecosystem. They keep our forests healthy, for the benefit of humans and all life forms,".
Meanwhile, Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said those found to be keeping the sun bear any of its body parts could be jailed up to five years or be fined a maximum of RM50,000, if convicted.
"Habitat loss and poaching for parts used in traditional medicine are among key threats that have led to a severe decline of the sun bear population in the last three decades in Sabah.
"Sabah is now at a crossroad, and failure to protect remaining forest reserves would be a deathblow not only for our beautiful sun bears but also many other protected wildlife species such as clouded leopards and Orang utans," he said.
The sun bears is classified as "vulnerable" on the IUCN red list and is at risk of becoming endangered in future.
SANDAKAN: Five Malayan Sun Bears that were either confiscated or handed over to the Sabah Wildlife Department between June last year and March 1, this year have been transferred to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) near here. The Sun Bears were initially sheltered at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Kota Kinabalu after they were seized by Sabah Wildlife Department rangers, with some being handed over by the public, Park officer-in-charge and veterinarian, Dr Rosa Sipangkui said. “We tranquillized the bears in the early afternoon of March 10 and conducted a full medical examination to make sure they were healthy before they were transferred into their transport cages for their eight-hour journey to their new jungle home at the BSBCC in Sandakan. “Four of the five bears that we sent to BSBCC are males, including a six-month-old cub. Though I feel sad to see them leave Lok Kawi, I am happy for them as they will be getting a much better jungle home and also have an opportunity to be able to live in a forested environment very much like their original habitat and may be rehabilitated and released into a protected forest reserve one day,” Rosa said in a statement yesterday. BSBCC chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said it took his team three hours to unload the bears when they arrived, and to settle them into the bear house. “We are monitoring their progress, and we will keep the public updated on how they are doing. With the completion of our second bear house, BSBCC is now able to receive more bears that were previously in captivity or those rescued by the Department. “The bears that we received are not part of those for public viewing at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. With the expected arrival of two more bears this week, BSBCC will become home to 34 bears,” Wong said. He stressed that it is an offence for the public to keep a protected species, and anyone who has the animal in captivity should surrender it to the department. “My message to the public is that Sun Bears are protected by law and cannot be kept as pets. Sun Bears are forest dependent species and play important roles in the forest ecosystem as seed dispersers, forest engineers, forest doctors and forest farmers. They keep our forests healthy, for the benefit of humans and all life forms,” Wong said. Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said Sun Bears fall under Schedule 1 of the Totally Protected wildlife species list in the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, and that killing, keeping a bear, or having in possession body parts like claws and gall bladders could result in punishment of up to five years’ jail or a maximum of RM50,000 fine. “Habitat loss and poaching for parts used in traditional medicine are among key threats that have led to a severe decline of the Sun Bear population in the last three decades in Sabah. “Sabah is now at a crossroad and failure to protect remaining forest reserves would be a deathblow not only for our beautiful Sun Bears but also many other protected wildlife species such as Clouded Leopards and Orang Utans that share a common habitat with the Sun Bear,” Ambu said. In Borneo, the 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. 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 to reduce pressure on a species that is classified as “vulnerable” on The IUCN Red List, and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.
I volunteered in BSBCC for two weeks. I’m from Japan and studying Veterinary Medicine in my university. This is my first time to come to Malaysia. One day I got friends from Malaysia in my university. They told me about Malaysia's beautiful nature and wild animals, especially in Borneo!
Here in Sepilok, I could see exactly! You can sleep with birds singing, see wild animals, full of stars…
I almost misunderstood, this is just a vacation. But I could work for Bornean Sun Bears!!
I helped workers clean bear’s dens, cut fruits and vegetables, feed them by walking in the jungle.
We cut these fruits every morning for sun bears. Even just cutting or calculating the fruits or vegetables is hard work! Because bears eat a lot, sometimes I got muscular pain. A whole pumpkin is the most hard to cut! I haven’t seen that such a big pumpkin in Japan…
Bears are inside fence. The fence last PenA to PenE. We can walk in the jungle, but with the bucket full of fruits or vegetables are a little bit difficult to walk.
The way we walk for feeding
The way they eat cucumbers, sugar canes, bananas, coconuts, pineapples, corns... everything is really cute!! And I surprised they are skillfull with their craws.
The time I watch how they eat in the forest is my most favorite time.
Eating a cucumber
I want to ask you why you eat a cucumber that style!! I took this picture just because she is sooo cute!!
I took this picture during she peal a coconut. I wanted to see her style drinking a coconut. She pealed almost all coconut's skin, but she suddenly stopped! Because she was tired of pealing a coconut!!
Ah lun is lazy
Is not easy become a sun bear!!
I also helped make hammock for bears. This is for enrichment. They use fire hose for this. It’s very clever and ecological!!
Two big sun bears
Trying the hammock. It was so comfortable!
I was really really lucky, because I could see 5 bears coming to the center, also their medical check.
Yes, I am the first volunteer could see that!! Yeah!!
When they were coming, they roared scary voice. I haven't heard that in the center before. Because bears in the center are really used to the center and people. I was afraid of that voice , but I think bears are more frightened than us. And the most scary part is to transport cage to new cage. Bears are instantly not in the cage. Sun bears are smaller than other bears and sometimes they behave like a human, but when I saw the new bears from wild or heared their scary voice taught me once again they are real bears.
The next day, I could see the health check. I thought I just could see that but I could help Mr. Wong take TPR and blood samples!! I'm so sorry bears, I was afraid of you! Because maybe you have bad diseases!! I learnt in my school about animal's bacteria, parasites and a lot of diseases. But this experience is my first time touched wild animal. That was amazing! I was so excited! His(that new bear's name is Ronney) fare, claws, body, how to breathe, tongues... Everything is interesting! I haven’t seen these so closely.
Taking blood sample
I know they are not pets, so I shouldn't touch them, treat as pets just curious or for fan. In BSBCC, keepers and workers know a lot about sun bears. Their behaviors, why they do, what they want.. and they always think what is the best for bears.
Some people say, why you captured bears and feed them, Let's release bears to the jungle! At first, I thought almost same thing.
But I learnt if bears don't know how to survive, they can't live in jungle. If they don't have mother while they are young, they can't survive. So people in the BSBCC become their mother. They treat bears so well not as pets , as wildlife.
Yes, they are really serious about bears, BUT they are also funny person!!
Bear house always full of laughter.
And they bring me to Sandakan city to eat sea food, Sepilok Orang Utan Center, bird watching....
One of the bear favorite food-Termite!
And also pile millipede!!
Bird watching tower バードウオッチングタワー
I went there with Thye lim(quick tongued),Tommy(play boy),Bee Yin(intelligent girl), Azzry(OTAKU)and David(Hentaino ojisan)!!
I had great great great time with not only sun bears but also staffs in BSBCC.
When I go back to Japan, I'll tell my friends, family, classmates about sun bears and my experience!
The sun bear cub that was found wondering around at someone's car porch in a residential area at Damai, Kota Kinabalu has been sent to BSBCC on last 5th November 2012 (Monday night). She was reported and captured by the Civil Defense Department, handed to Lok Kawi Zoo and later sent to BSBCC by Sabah Wildlife Department's Wildlife Rescue Unit.
Baby Damai arrived at BSBCC on 5th Nov 2012, 11pm. Delivered by Sabah Wildlife Department's Wildlife Rescue Unit.
For more information about how was baby Damai found, please read the articles posted at newspaper few days ago. Click the link below:
We named this female sun bear cub “Damai”, after the place where she was found. Damai means "peace" in Malay. Weighing at 5kg, we estimated Damai is about 4 months old. When she arrived, she has a strong smell of pandan (an aromatic tropical plant) attached to her as her transportation cage was filled with pandan leaves.
Although baby Damai looks cute, she is no house pet. Please DO NOT keep sun bear as pet!
Baby Damai was fed with milk formula given by the Sabah Wildlife Department's veterinarians.
She looks healthy and active as she started climbing and biting the things around her including the BSBCC caregiver. We will try our best to provide her an ideal environment so that she will be back to the forest in the near future.
Keep in touch with us to follow up with Baby Damai's Story !!
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It has been 4 days since Ah Bui arrived at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). She is one fortunate female bear to be rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) just on time. She was almost sold for the purpose of bear bile. Ah Bui is approximately 2 years old.
We conducted Ah Bui’s physical check up at the BSBCC today. It went on very smoothly with the help from staffs of the SWD and Orangutan Appeal UK vet, Dr. Cinzia Cordella. It took us around 35 minutes to complete the procedures.
Ah Bui has obvious large canine teeth which are due to her previous diet. She used to be fed with chicken before she arrived here. Her current weight is 25 kg which is perfect for a female bear her age. Her pulse and temperature readings are normal.
Dr. Cinzia taking pulse rate of Ah Bui.
Placing Ah Bui back to her temporary cage
Ah Bui seems to have adapted to a small confined cage indicated through her constant "bending over" behavior when she first arrived at BSBCC. She has gradually adapted to the current cage which has more space for her to move around. Ah Bui however have to go through a quarantine period for a month before she will mix with other sun bears. She will eventually have a better social life, get access to the forest enclosure and be a wild sun bear again!
"Friend" is the people who play an important role in our human daily life. They may be able to be our supporter, person who assists you, giving you a positive effect and sharing most of their life experience with you.
Same as what have happened at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) on 4th May 2012 evening, we received a sun bear from Penampang, named Ah Bui, which means "friend" in local Murut language.
Ah Bui, the latest rescued sun bear at BSBCC
Ah Bui is a female sub-adult sun bear about two year old. She was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department's (SWD) Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) on May 2nd in a housing area at Penampang near Kota Kinabalu. The owner claimed that the bear was obtained from Sook at Keningau area.
Ah Bui arrived at our centre on the evening of May 4th.
Staffs from BSBCC and Sabah Wildlife Department moved Ah Bui to her new environment!
Ah Bui being moved to her temporary cage
He is believed to look for a potential buyer of the bear as local market for bear parts still exist. Luckily the SWD's officer managed to discover and rescued Ah Bui before she end up in cooking pot or as traditional medicine.
Ah Bui means "friend" in local Murut language
Ah Bui is still trying to settle down and adapt slowly to our center environment. We hope she will get use her new home and make some new “Ah Bui” as well.