The photos of Suria the sun bear tell the story of one of 21 rescued sun bears currently house in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. From the traumatic early life, Suria been through a lot since she was a little sun bear cub: her mother being poached, she was being captured, kept as a pet in a small filthy metal cage. Suria is now lives in her new bear house and spend time in her primary forest enclosure climbing trees and digging soil. Her life literally transformed from one end to the other after she was sent to BSBCC.
Beside Suria, there are 20 more sun bears: Cerah, Kuamut, Manis, Om, An Chong, etc., all been through similar experiences, but are now living in a better environment and receiving adequate care at BSBCC. Just few hours before I write this message, a baby sun bear was sent to BSBCC, another victim from habitat loss, poaching, and pet trade. We name this latest rescued sun bear cub, "Natalie".
All of our rescued bears have a new life because your helps and supports to make BSBCC a success. The establishment of BSBCC is what we believe as the first step to help and save sun bears: starting from rescuing caged sun bears, follow by educating people about the plight of sun bears and their vulnerable habitat, and finally conserve the species across its range in SE Asia. This year, we have overcome many challenges for this ambitious project. We have completed the construction of our new bear house and forest enclosures, and have our initial 12 bears moved to their new home. Soon after, we have rescued another nine more sun bears, filling up our carrying capacity quickly, including our latest rescuee Natalie. With your generous donation, we managed to pay for the bear food, staff's salaries, the constructions and maintenance costs, and run the centre as planned. Last month, the Malaysian federal government agreed to provide funding for the construction of additional bear house, forest enclosures, and visitor facilities to complete the construction phase of this project! In other words, we have the full funding for the construction of the entire centre!
Our successes so far are not because of pure luck, but a lot of hard works from many people, locally and internationally. We have suceeded because of your believes, helps, and supports. We have suceeded because of the great team works joining forces and make the impossible become possible! With your helps and supports, we have a fruitful year in 2010 to bring a better life for our rescued sun bears and to raise the awareness on sun bear conservation across the world. However, our works will not stop here or slowing down. There are more caged sun bears needed to be rescued, and more sun bear habitat needed to be protected. We are looking forward to face these challenges and hoping to accomplish more the coming new year of 2011.
As for myself, I am completing my doctorate study in USA and will be reporting for duty on site at BSBCC early next year. Setting up BSBCC has been my dream for many years and I am SO excited to return and to serve my home country and base at this facility permanently. After all, this is my destiny and what I was trained for: to do conservation, education, research, and rehabilitation works on sun bear, wildlife and their habitat.
On behalf of BSBCC and all the sun bears (and of course myself and my family), I would like to THANK all of YOU for your helps and supports. Without your helps and supports, Suria and other sun bears would not be able to climb REAL trees, dig the soils, and roam the forest enclosures at BSBCC.
Please always visit our blog/website to learn about our latest developments and stories of our bears: http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/ and to learn what you can do to help us: http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/how-can-you-help-sun-bears/
Finally, at this holiday season, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New YEAR!
Big sun bear hugs,
Siew Te Wong
CEO and Founder,
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre