Today, we were visited by a group of students from National University of Singapore. They were accompanied by their teacher, together with APE Malaysia coordinators. The students were given a short presentation on sun bears and BSBCC works before they had a tour at the observation platforms. At the platform, they were given a simple task where they need to observe the bear behaviours within a period time. They were really lucky today as it was raining heavily and they were able to observe many bears being active and playful in the rain! Thank you for spending the time for visiting us and we hope that they learn more about sun bears and its environment, and help us spread the words!
BSBCC continued to receive school groups throughout the year. This year, our first school group was SMK Tun Aminah, Johor, West Malaysia. The group visited the Centre on the 10th February. Before visiting the bears in the forest enclosure, the students were first given a short introduction about sun bears and BSBCC.
Sharon BSBCC’s Centre Coordinator giving a presentation about sun bears and BSBCC to students from SMK Tun Aminah.
The students and teachers then visited the observation platform to see the sun bears roaming in the forest enclosure. Environmental education will continue to be held to promote awareness especially among the younger generation.
Students observing the bears from the observation platform.
On the 23rd January 2017, Mr. Todd Hannah the US Embassy Science and Technology Officer visited BSBCC and was welcomed by our CEO and Founder, Dr. Wong Siew Te. Dr. Wong delivered a short presentation about BSBCC’s roles and efforts in sun bear conservation before guiding Mr. Todd to view the bears from the observation platform.
BSBCC CEO & Founder, Dr. Wong Siew Te delivering his presentation about BSBCC during Mr. Todd Hannah's visit.
It is our honor to have Mr. Todd Hannah as our guest at BSBCC. We would also like to thank the US Embassy Kuala Lumpur for funding BSBCC’s education programme for this year.
At BSBCC, group visits are always welcomed. This can encourage them to learn more about sun bears and their habitat and their threats.
On the 14th May 2016, students from “Institut Latihan Perindustrian” (ILP), a local institution in Sandakan and Conservation Biology students from University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) visited our Centre.
A total 28 students from ILP were involved during the visit to our Centre. This visit provided the students knowledge and important awareness to conserve sun bears as a species in the long run. The students also came with the purpose to contribute in any way they can at the Centre. BSBCC’s team has arranged the students to help in the maintenance of our facility.
Their visit started with an interpretative walk around our visiting area which was conducted by our Centre Coordinator, Jeremy. After that, the students spent their time observing the sun bears from the observation platform. Many were excited to see the sun bears for the first time and were amazed of how small they are.Their activity continued with maintenance work for our access trails and walkway. Many thanks to students and teachers from ILP for conducting such a meaningful visit.
Jeremy explaining the sun bear diet.
Student help cleaning the aerial walkway.
On the same day, students and lecturers from University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) visited our Centre. As part of their Wildlife Management course, they conducted a trip from their institution in Kota Kinabalu to Sepilok, Sandakan.
During their arrival at BSBCC at around 2pm, BSBCC’s founder and CEO, Mr. Wong presented a talk about sun bears and BSBCC. At the end of the presentation, a short Q&A was held with the students. They were then taken to the observation platform to see the sun bears in the forest enclosure. Mr. Wong also gave them a special tour behind the scenes, at the bear house area to learn further about the Centre’s operations and the sun bear’s rehabilitation process.
Mr. Wong having a Q&A session with the students from UMS at the observation platform.
Students from the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Tun Fuad Stephen in Sandakan visited BSBCC on the 16th February 2016. BSBCC’s education team brought the 88 students that came around the visiting area for an interpretative walk to observe the sun bears while learning about the sun bears’ ecology and threats.
The guided tour was created for the benefit of allowing students to contribute some of their time and resources, be it expertise or experience for the betterment of a charismatic species that is found endemic to Borneo, that is the Bornean sun bear. They will be able to share the sun bear information to the public and to promote and encourage public to involve in wildlife conservation.
To create a generation that is more environmentally aware, students should be given information on the importance of preserving and conserving the environment. We were very happy to have the chance to share our knowledge and experience of working with sun bears to the students. All of the students enjoyed their time learning about the environment and wildlife species from the talk, and tour around the Centre. We hope that they can gain more knowledge on of protecting the environment and our precious wildlife species.
OUTREACH PROGRAMMES- SK. BANDAR SANDAKAN
The first school BSBCC’s education team visited this year was SK Bandar Sandakan. The primary school located 5 minutes away from Sandakan town comprised of 610 students. The school was more than happy to have all their students involved in the programme which started at 7.30 am after the school’s weekly assembly. BSBCC was fortunate to have the support from other Sabah-based organizations; HUTAN-KOCP, Sabah Wildlife Department and Sandakan Borneo Bird Club.
The programme aims to raise awareness among students about the importance of protecting wildlife, their habitat and the environment as a whole. The programme started with a brief introduction by BSBCC and introduction of each organizations that were present. This was followed by a talk on the protection of wild animals by Mr. Aznandy from Sabah Wildlife Department. The kids were excited to learn about the diversity of our wildlife. They were amazed of the existence of many species endemic to the Bornean island.
Talk on Protected Wildlife Species in Sabah by Mr. Aznandy from, Sabah Wildlife Department Officer
The Sandakan Borneo Bird Club conducted an interactive activity where students were told to mimic the song of birds found in Borneo. The best bird call mimic won a prize. Encik Haslan from HUTAN–KOCP was next to present a brief talk about orangutans and efforts done to conserve them. Being the slowest reproducing mammal in the world, they are highly prone to extinction.
Last but not least, Miss Gloria from BSBCC introduced the sun bears to the kids. Our sun bear mascot, Sunny was also present to help the kids understand better about the physical characters of a sun bear.
As Sunny appeared on stage, the students got excited and were eager to learn more about the sun bears. BSBCC team together with the supporting organizations set up display booths at the school. This helped to share our stories about wildlife even better, especially for the students to understand more about the importance to conserve them. Special thanks to the support from the Sandakan Education Department and the SK Bandar teachers who were glad to work together with us to raise awareness in environmental conservation among these students.
Students visiting BSBCC booth.
Carol from the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club assisting students to observe birds through a spotting scope.
Sunny’s photo session with the kindergarten students
On the 10th January 2016, US ambassador, HE Joseph Y. Yun arrived in Sandakan for an official visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC) and BSBCC. This was the ambassador’s 2nd visit to the Centre after his informal visit in May 2014. Together with the ambassador were delegates of the Portland–Kota Kinabalu Sister City Association, an organization that works on shared concerns ranging from conservation, research and education. Wong and the BSBCC team brought the delegates for a guided walk to observe the sun bears in their enclosures. The visit ended with a presentation of souvenirs to the ambassador and an evening tea session at the SOURC.
Wong (left) handing a souvenir to US Ambassador to Malaysia, HE Joseph Y. Yun (right).
Group photo with US Ambassador to Malaysia with the delegates from Portland
US Ambassador to ASEAN BSBCC was honored to welcome the US ambassador to ASEAN HE Nina Hachigian to the Centre. Nina and her family were on vacation to Sandakan and visited us on the 6th February 2016. The BSBCC team gave the ambassador and her family a tour around the Centre after observing the orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
Gloria (left, Environmental Education Executive) with HE Nina Hachigian (right, US Ambassador to ASEAN)
Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Tee Thye Lim Students from Miami Dragonfly Classes, Miami University recently visited BSBCC. The students were divided into 2 groups: Borneo I: 18 students & 2 instructors came on 10th June 2013 Borneo II: 19 students & 2 instructors came on 21st June 2013. Wong, BSBCC's CEO & Founder gave the students an exclusive tour. He also gave an outstanding talk on sun ans shared his personal experiences in doing research on sun bears.
Borneo I students: Watching one of the sun bears climbing a tree
Wong giving a talk about sun bears at the platform
The BSBCC welcomed 21 students from Miami University today. They arrived at 11am and it was just the right time to see the bears resting or taking their naps in the enclosure, which is right after their feeding time. The bears were already on their most comfortable position between tree branches, taking their afternoon naps as the group emerge towards the observation platform. Sun Bears usually take naps in the afternoon for an hour or two. Seeing a bear resting between tree branches is always spectacular and amusing even for the BSBCC staff! You are one of the lucky ones if you get to see this, as this particular experience would be very rare especially in the wild. Sun bears might just move away when sensing human presence. We also get to share the experience of Manis, one of the adult female of the centre foraging for food on the forest floor. While enjoying the tropical forest environment on the observation platform, Wong, the founder and CEO of BSBCC told fascinating stories about sun bears in the wild.
It is always a pleasure for us to share our interests and concerns about sun bears with as many people as possible. We would like to take this wonderful opportunity to thank the Miami University group for supporting us through their donation. Thanks for buying our t-shirts and bandanas as well! It would really help us in rehabilitating the sun bears and spread the words about the forgotten bear - the sun bears!
Students from the School of International Tropical Forestry (SITF) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) visited the BSBCC yesterday (5th May 2012). UMS campus is based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The group comprise of 42 undergraduate students and accompanied by 2 lecturers. It was the first time that the BSBCC had a visit from the local university.
The visit began with an introduction about the centre by our CEO, Mr. Wong Siew Te and followed by a tour around the forest enclosure for a closer look at the bears.
Wong introducing the centre to the students
They were also given a brief talk about the characteristics, behavior and threats of sun bears by our Project Manager, Wai Pak. We also explained to the students about the history and operation of the centre. There were a lot of concerns from the students about the rehabilitation of sun bears. Since the SITF students were on their Zoology and Wildlife Management subject field trip, it was a great opportunity for us to promote awareness about the vulnerability of sun bears specifically in Borneo.
Wai Pak sharing information on the centre and sun bears.
Most of the students have never seen a sun bear before. They were fascinated even after a glimpse of the sun bears foraging in the enclosure. Since our platform was still in the process of completion, the students had a closer view of the sun bears from the feeding platform. They also get to observe a breathtaking behavior of Keningau, a female adult bear climbing a tree in the enclosure.
Students observing sun bears from the feeding platform
Their visit was such an inspiration for us to reach out to the local institutes. We hope that their visitation to our centre would help them gain more knowledge and spread the message of the needs to protect and conserve the sun bears in our region. The BSBCC will be honored to welcome more visitors from the local institutions in the future.
Today the BSBCC welcomed a group of students from the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto. The group comprises of Professor Sean Thomas and 24 master’s students. Besides telling them about the history and operation of the centre, we get to share information about sun bears as well. We were pleased to see them so keen to know more about the sun bear and there were many good questions from the conservationist group.
BSBCC would like to thank the students and Professor Sean Thomas of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto for visiting us and also for their donation towards the centre. We really appreciate your support and it would definitely make a difference especially towards the sun bears. We wish you all of the best and success in your studies!
Trying to catch a glimpse of the sun bears at the forest enclosure
Professor Sean Thomas and Roshan (BSBCC volunteer) observing sun bears from the observation platform.