This morning we welcome students from the Oregon State University, United States. BSBCC Founder and CEO, Dr. Wong delivered a talk on sun bears, how BSBCC was set up and BSBCC's achievements. Then, everyone went for an exclusive tour at the sun bear observation area guided by Dr. Wong himself. It was also our honor to welcome Dr. Wendy Erb, Fulbright Scholar and biological anthropologist and also Shanon Phang from the US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur to BSBCC. Thank you all for visiting us and we hope everyone had a wonderful time learning about the sun bears today!
A school visit from SK Karamunting Preschool, Sandakan visited BSBCC today, 11th May 2017.There were 56 students and 16 teachers and parents involved in this visit. The school children came together with their teachers and parents. They were given a short introduction on sun bears using sun bear mascot and later they were brought to the observation platforms to see the bears roaming in the forest enclosure. The children together with their parents and teachers enjoyed their time at our Centre learning about sun bears and the environment. We were glad to share our knowledge on sun bears to them. We believe that environmental education can help in the efforts to save sun bears and their habitat for generations to come.
In conjunction with the programme “Program Taklimat dan Lawatan Turun Padang Pengalaman Ecotourism & Clean Air Di Sandakan dan Kota Kinabalu, it was a privilege to have a visit from Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) and Tourism Malaysia. During the visit, short briefings and introductions were delivered by representatives from Sabah Wildlife Department, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, The Sabah Parks and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah. After that, they had a tour to the outdoor nursery of the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and also to the BSBCC’s viewing platform to observe the sun bears. Thank you for visiting us and we hope that this programme can help us to promote the tourism and conservation centres in Sepilok area and help us spread the words.
Introduction from Pn. Jum Rafiah Abd Sukor, Deputy Director of Sabah Wildlife Department
Short introduction about BSBCC from Dr. Wong Siew Te
Short introduction about Sabah Parks from representative of The Sabah Parks
Puan Mariam Omar from Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah
Tour to outdoor nursery Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
Tour to BSBCC
presenting token of appreciation to Mr. Alan bin Abdul Rahim, Under Secretary of Finance Division, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia
presenting token of appreciation to Dato' Sri Abdul Khani Daud, Deputy Director General (Promotion), Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board
Text by Chiew Lin May Photos by Gloria Ganang & Chiew Lin May
An event was held at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah to capture the effort of wildlife conservation in Sabah and also in conjunction with the “Sabah Wildlife Department’s 50 Years anniversary celebration”. On last week (4th October 2013 till 6th October 2013), three of the BSBCC team members, Gloria, Ernie and myself where involve in this event. This event is an educational and public awareness programme focusing on the wildlife conservation activities in Sabah. The motto of this event is “Past, Present and Future” (Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya in malay language).
Several exhibitions were carried out by government agencies and NGOs to encourage people about the issue of protecting wildlife and their habitat such as
a) Sabah Wildlife Department
b) Tabin Wildlife Reserve Resort
c) Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)
d) Bornean Conservation Trust (BCT)
Elephant satellite collar - This collaring activity is one of the components of the Mega Biodiversity Corridor programme initiated by Bornean Conservation Trust (BCT), which aims to enhance forest ecosystem connectivity and ecological corridors within key habitats of the Bornean elephant.
f) Sabah Swiftlet House & Bird’s Nest Industry Association (SWIFIN)
g) Tuaran Crocodile Farm
h) Reef Guardian
The public are invited to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is run by Sabah Wildlife Department. The park consists of zoological and botanical component.
We set our booth near opposite is the elephant enclosure.
On October 4 2013, we held the opening ceremony at 9.30am. A memorandum of agreement between the Sabah Wildlife Department, The Reef Dive Resort, Tours, and Sipadan Pom-Pom Island was signed for the protection of four marine turtles in Malaysia and their habitats.
Gloria is introduce our sun bear booth and BSBCC work.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Kamarlin Ombi and Wildlife Department Deputy Director, Augustine Tuuga visiting sun bear booth. Gloria was explaining the works of BSBCC to the VIP Visitors.
Datuk Kamarlin Ombi and Augustine Tuuga was looking at the bear profile book.
Our teams are spreading the word of this forgotten species.
It is very important to creating more awareness about sun bears among the public.
Gloria is give some questions about sun bear to the kids.
Throughout the celebration, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park conducted various fun activities such as:
a) Up-close and personal with two elephant calf
- Wildlife Rescue Unit staff brought the elephant calves out and discussed the current threats that the Borneo Pygmy elephant is facing in Sabah.
b) Colouring contest - Involved children one to twelve years old, and allowed them to express their artistry, creativity, and love for animals through wonderful colors.
Look like sun bear become brown bear!
c) Story telling contest
- Involved the secondary school students and the title of their story had to focus on the challenges and responsibilities around protecting wildlife in Sabah. This story telling helps conserve wildlife by raising awareness around the threats that endangered animals in Sabah are facing.
d) Story telling contest - Involved the primary school students and the title of their story had to focus on the awareness that students have about our natural environment. Children are great fans of stories and love to listen to them. This contest plays a role into creating more awareness among the public.
e) Photography contest
f) Face painting
- A face painting booth- one thing that all kids love! This is a great activity which kids and adults can choose their favorite animals and have their faces painted in resemblance.
Gloria get a footprint in her hand!
g) Wildlife Game
- A group of five students with one teacher is involved in this game. This is an adventurous learning activity related to wildlife. From the game, two questions are related to sun bears.
Question 1: What is the scientific name for the sun bear?
Question 2: What is the smallest bear in the world?
h) Catch the entertaining animal show at the Park’s Amphitheatre.
i) Recycled clothing contest
- Students created new designs and fashions using reusable items and their imaginations. Examples of the recycled materials they used are bottle caps, aluminium can tabs, wire, juice boxes, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, string, and feathers. The purpose of this activity is to create public awareness regarding the importance of saving the planet and the environmental benefits that recycling provides.
j) Eco-Fashion show by Miss Earth Sabah
- Recycled clothing is making waves in the fashion industry. In this fashion show all of the clothes were made from aluminium foil, DVDs, glass, metal, candy wrappers, and other recycled materials. The concept behind clothing made from recycled material supports saving the planet and would result in less pollution for a sustainable planet.
Thank you for supporters that support our sun bear!!
This event was a wonderful opportunity to learn about a variety of animals at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and share knowledge with the public. I really hope that this event helped raise awareness about the wildlife issues happening in Sabah, and encouraged people to react in ways that promote saving and conserving the Borneo wildlife habitat.
Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Tee Thye Lim The kids from the ISS International School have selected the BSBCC as one of their destinations for their Borneo trip. Thanks to APE Malaysia, we managed to team up and get these kids to learn about the importance of enrichment for sun bears in captivity. A total of 29 13-14 year old kids involved and they were accompanied by their 4 teachers. It all started with an introduction talk about sun bears and the BSBCC.
Introducing the BSBCC
Then the students were brought to the platform and the bear house to do a pre enrichment observation on the bears. In other words is they get to see how the bears behave without any enrichment given. Then, the fun part! ENRICHMENT MAKING!!
Materials for making enrichment
The kids were briefed about "safe enrichment for sun bears" by Thye Lim
Eliminating plastic tapes from the cardboards
Staples aren't safe for the bears
The bears would love these in their enrichment
"What should be made out of these egg trays?"
Using ropes made of natural fiber to tye up enrichments
Spreading bits of herbs and spices on a ginger leaf
Everyone is so focused
Everybody managed to complete their enrichment in 20 minutes (thats fast!). They did a very good job in creating them using the provided materials (cardboard, egg trays, various kinds of herbs & spices, beans, ginger leaves, hessian sack etc).
The bears could smell their "toys" from afar as the kids were bringing them closer. They were curious and couldn't wait to check out whats coming ahead. Everything was quickly ripped apart, however the bears continued to check out every remain pieces until the end of the day. Not forgetting the macaques that shares the forest enclosure, they got entertained by the enrichment as well. It was another interesting day for the bears at the BSBCC as these enrichment were different from the daily enrichment provided by the BSBCC staff. Thanks to the ISS kids, you all definitely made a difference. Not forgetting your kind donations to the centre, we really appreciate them!
Text and photo by Tee Thye Lim "Is the Koala a bear species?'' Asked our Project Manager, Wai Pak to the primary school students of SK. St. Gabriel who visited our centre on the 23 Oct 2012.
Wai Pak giving a short briefing to the SK St. Gabriel students before they were brought in for a tour at BSBCC.
"Yes, because it looks like a bear!'' A little girl raised up her hand and answered.
"No! Koala is not a bear!" A little boy refuted from the opposite side. The argument continued for about 3 minutes until Wai Pak announced the answer. "No, Koala is not a bear species, it is a type of the Marsupial, same family with the kangaroos" said Wai Pak.
The different facial expressions of the students after learning that the Koala is not a bear
Most of the kids have an idea of a sun bear. They've seen it on TV programmes, perhaps on the internet, however not in a natural environment.
Some of them also mentioned about the local TV programme, TV3 which aired a documentary about BSBCC last week end: <Sunshine in Sepilok: Tales of the Bornean Sun Bears> Later, knowing that they were about to see real, life Bornean sun bears, the smallest among the smallest of the bears in the world, the kids couldn't wait.
The young generations' curiosity of the nature is always the best inspiration of mother Earth conservation
This time everyone was able to spot the sun bears. More excitingly, sun bears climbing the trees!
The American International School of Hong Kong group were then invited to watch the BSBCC documentary .
Wai Pak giving a short introduction about the documentary
At the end of the visit, SK. St. Gabriel presented a drawing to BSBCC. It was inspiring! Thank you so much!
Wai Pak (left) and Wong (centre) receiving the drawing from SK St. Gabriel
Also, many thanks to APE Malaysia team for your donations! Not forgetting the hessian sacks you brought us. The bears will definitely love rubbing themselves on them! Lastly and most importantly, thank you for sparing time and efforts to visit our Centre. It was such a great opportunity for us to share the needs of this small small bear species!
Representative of the American International School group (right) handing over donation to BSBCC, represented by Wai Pak (left)
The BSBCC team was expecting a visit from the local primary school, SRK (C) Chi Hwa, Sandakan on the 16th October 2012. A total of 236 standard 6 (12 year olds) pupils came to the Centre on that day . They were accompanied by 17 dedicated teachers and their headmistress, Mdm Ooi Mee Har. Yes, it was a big number! In fact the biggest number of visitors we had so far coming in one day. They all did not come at one time. Instead, the pupils were separated into 7 groups and 1 group came at one time.
Arrival of the pupils
Welcoming the pupils to the Centre
The first group arrived at 9.30 am. Not having much idea of what to expect, all were excited when they were told that they were about to see the smallest bear in the world! It was amazing how silent they were along their way to the platform. Perhaps their teachers have taught them well of how to respect and appreciate nature. We were so impressed. As soon as they reached the platform, all spread around and took their best place to look for the sun bears hiding in the forest enclosure. Some groups were lucky and saw the interesting behavior of the sun bears climbing up the trees. The BSBCC team took this opportunity to share about the sad stories of why the bears are currently at the Centre.
Explaining about sun bear behavior at the observation platform
How much do you think the chain weigh?
Showing the actual chain that used to be worn by one of the bears when she was kept as a pet
The visit ended at 3.00 pm. I think the team did a wonderful job. Now an additional 253 people know about the sun bears! Special thanks to Madam Ooi and her team of teachers who had made all this possible!
Text and photos by Gloria Ganang A group of 12 Singaporean students from Nanyang Technological University visited the centre today at 3pm. They are journalism students and spent few hours at our observation platform watching the sun bears at the enclosure as well as an interview session with Wong. Thanks for visiting us and help us spread the words about sun bears! Cheers!
On the beautiful sunny morning of the 14th August 2012, the BSBCC team started the day with a preparation for a remarkable visit of the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Simon Featherstone and his family. Also present during the visit was the Council’s guests, Shire President of Boyup Mr. Michael Giles and his family, the Australian Defence Adviser and Deputy Defence Adviser as well as the new Deputy Director, Office of Australian War Graves, Canberra. Their visit to Sepilok was their first time. The BSBCC team are so honored to welcome them!
They arrived at 2pm, just in time for the bears' 3rd feeding of the day in the forest enclosure. They were welcomed by the Officer in Charge of the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC), Madam Sylvia Alsisto, together with the BSBCC team and a group of international volunteers.
Madam Sylvia Alsisto (right) welcoming HE Simon Featherstone and his family to Sepilok
Introducing the volunteers working at SOURC and BSBCC
Meet the BSBCC team
Their visit to the BSBCC was led by our Project Manager, Wai Pak and also assisted by other BSBCC staff. Everyone had a close view of the sun bears foraging and socializing in the forest enclosure. The staff described about the urgent needs of sun bear conservation and talked about the unfortunate background of each of the sun bears they saw in the enclosure.
BSBCC Project Manager, Wai Pak introducing the sun bears at the observation platform
After the visit to the BSBCC, the VIP visitors proceeded their visit at the SOURC which they were welcomed by a group of orang utan hanging on bamboo stems at the SOURC entrance. This is followed by a tea session with the staff. The visit ended with a presentation of souvenir to the HE Mr. Simon Featherstone. Warm wishes from the BSBCC staff! We hope you enjoyed your visit at our centre!
HE Simon Featherstone and his wife enjoying the view of orang utans hanging around at the SOURC entrance
Presenting souvenir to HE Simon Featherstone and his wife.
The BSBCC is very fortunate to have volunteers from the Oakland Zoo, Oakland, California helping us in the process of building up the centre. They arrived on the 17th July 2012. They planned 7 days of their stay in Sabah at the BSBCC helping us doing husbandry works and enrichment for our bears, maintenance works, and research as well.
Volunteers from Oakland Zoo doing painting for the bear cage
Fire Hose Hammock in progress 4 fire hose hammock have been done by Oakland Zoo volunteers !! Thank you so much !!
The volunteers comprise of 17 people of the age 15-19 years old and led by 2 group leaders, Melinda Seivert and Stacey Smith. We are also lucky to have Manuel as their tour guide who had worked hard together with the group at the centre. Each volunteers had experiences working in the zoo for at least a year. Sun bears are one of the animal species they have in their zoo. This was their first trip to Borneo, therefore they were very excited for their activities ahead. The group was given an introduction talk by our project manager, Wai Pak on their first day. It was followed by a tour around the centre. Later in the evening they helped us do a final clearing of construction bits and pieces around our newly constructed bridge and platform. The next 5 days, the teens was divided into groups and did various tasks of the centre’s improvement. They did husbandry works which include renumbering guillotine doors at bear house, repainting rusted cage bars and collecting dried leaves for bear enrichment. They also cleared leaves and branches around enclosure fences, cleaned hot wire along enclosure, piled up reusable wood materials, greased bolts on bridges outside enclosure fences, cleaned drainage and covered drain area with gravel. The group also made new enrichment for our bears which include 4 fire hose hammocks and 5
Well done !! The paper mache enrichment were ready for the bears
They also did a research on public knowledge of sun bears by interviewing visitors around Sepilok.
Volunteers interviewing the visitor in the area of Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
Results for public survey on sun bears
Wong (BSBCC founder and CEO) gave a brief lecture about sun bear ecology before the group get to experience the tropical rainforest adjacent to the centre. We traced animal footprints such as wild boar and mouse deer and bear claw marks on tree barks, saw some species of lizards, birds and insects. We also saw plenty of cicada and termite nests. The volunteers were fascinated with the different kind of living organisms in the rainforest. However, the attention went most to the all time famous leaches! Everyone helped each other making sure there were no leaches on them.
Bear's claw mark on the tree Can you spot it ?
The group spent their last day watching our exclusive video of “Big Dreams Little Bears”. We would like to thank the group for their contribution to the centre. It was such a wonderful and enjoyable experience and we definitely learned a lot from them! Thanks for sharing your time, ideas, and laughers with us. Looking forward for another group to visit! Hugs and kisses from BSBCC team!
Watching "Big Dreams Little Bears" exclusive video.