Text by Ng Wai Pak
Today, I was carrying out my duties at the centre. After the sun bears had their morning meal, I observe and record the bears’ activities. Sun bear are very active animal. They are curious, energetic and always have thing to do to keep them busy. After two hours of record, I found out the centre is become quiet except the sound come from the stand fan to keep the floor dry. I noticed most of the bears are lying on their own basket bed, and having their afternoon nap. Yes, the bears do take afternoon nap. No matter they are born in the wild or keep in the cage, they do have this natural behavior.
Lets look at the diagram below which I taken from Wong’s research data back in Danum Valley. It shows that the wild sun bears do have their short nap around 10 am in the day time (the little dip at around 10 am) after two hours of feeding peak at round 8 am in the morning. So, we are glad that our sun bears in our centre do keep their natural behaviors.
Of course, not every bears is going to sleep at the same time every day. There are some bears still want to hang around foraging at the ground, sniffing around, playing on dry branches, and disturbing others who want to rest!
I recall back the time when I was a volunteer in my friend’s kindergarten several years ago. The bears are just like the kids; they won’t stop for any seconds, and the only time you can found silence is when they are having nap. That is the most peaceful moment of the day. No more yelling, no fighting, no crying… nothing. I would say there are a lot of similarity between taking care of the bears and helping out in the kindergarten. For sure, I am glad to see them sleeping peacefully, both the kids and the bears.