Photos by Darren Sia Hwei Hung & Seng Yen Wah
To anyone that is reading this 😊
Hi! My name is Darren Sia, a 21-year-old majoring in Environmental Science at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. In 2017, I’ve decided that I want to step out of my comfort zone and go for a small expedition. I was first introduced to BSBCC by Dr. Wong himself when he came over to Kuala Lumpur for a talk. His splendid presentation about his centre and the bears sparked an interest in me about animal conservation, and soon after that, I sent an application to BSBCC as a volunteer in hopes of getting the opportunity to work with these amazing animals.
If you don’t already know much about BSBCC’s operations, the 4 pillars that they are founded upon are Education, Rehabilitation, Welfare, and Research. As a volunteer, we have been given a lot of opportunities to work closely with the bears. One of the most important aspects of running a conservation centre is animal husbandry, which is taking care of the bears. Considering there are 43 individuals of rescued sun bears located in the centre, it is no easy feat.
Most of my volunteering period was spent here. As soon as I started work, I was introduced to a “buddy”, which is a staff who is permanently attached to the volunteer, who guides the volunteers through everything in the centre. My buddy was a cool guy called Roger. He was really friendly, and would always point out the different wildlife in the forest when we’re out feeding the bears.
I am also blessed to have the opportunity to be able to work with the education team on the visitor’s platform. It truly is a magical experience being on the platform, meeting people from all around the world, sharing my information and educating them on the various threats faced by the sun bear. The tourists can easily see these otherwise elusive animals in their natural habitat foraging for food and climbing trees. Knowing that they’ve learned something new and thoroughly enjoyed their visit at the centre is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.
If you’re reading this and thinking about volunteering, what are you waiting for?! Drop BSBCC an email right now! I can assure you that you would get an experience of a lifetime doing so. I think this is where I shall end my story. If you’re still here, thank you so much for reading. This is Darren signing out.