Hello everyone! My name is Fatin Amirah binti Ahmad Anuar, and called as Fatin here at BSBCC. I am currently an undergraduate Pure Biology student of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) branch of Sabah, Malaysia. BSBCC was my first volunteering work and wrapping up period of 2 months doing my internship, I have to admit that I had so much fun and a wonderful experience here, working with the staff and other fellow volunteers. To those who feel affection for nature and animals, I would like to highlight first that this is one of the places for you to spend some time if you have nothing in mind to do during your free time.
Speaking of which, some given to them could last for hours; advantageous for both sides, to the sun bears and to the staff here. To know whether enrichment is good enough or not for the sun bears, we see the time period they would play with it, which indirectly induces their natural behavior over time. One of the missions of BSBCC is to give these ex-captured, orphaned and saved bears a second chance, and release them back into the wild. Thus, it is important for the volunteers here to understand this goal and trying their best in providing the needs of the sun bears one by one to help the sun bears to be as close as possible to their natural environment.
Thye Lim once told me that being here was all about having a communication with each other especially if I were not certain about something regarding the sun bears. Do not assume, ask and ask. So guys, it is okay for you to ask and know as many as possible about the sun bears while you are volunteering here, and hopefully once you have finished, you could consign and spread the knowledge about these beautiful animals to your family and friends.
Volunteers are not allowed to hand feed them, but you could watch the bear keepers doing it for you. Rules and regulations lined by the BSBCC are all for the safety of the sun bears and for our own safety. There are always reasons why there are restriction areas at the BSBCC, for example, the quarantine facilities where all of 5 baby bears are located, including the male one which had arrived recently at the centre. Perfume, bright-colored attires are not encouraged as we might cause the sun bears to have unnecessary stress, which is not a good thing for them in a long term period. Ideas and suggestions from the volunteers regarding the building and enrichment for the sun bears are welcomed to be shared and discussed with staff and officers here, as long as your ideas are suitable and safe to be applied.
Having views about the sun bears at the verge of finishing my internship is fair enough for me, as I know I will have difficult time coming back to the centre for a second round, thus I am now sharing my present knowledge with my colleagues, university friends and my own family members. I am writing this as a way of contributing to the survival of the sun bear species. I hope there will be more efforts and scientific research done around the world in keeping this animal safe far from being hunted and killed for their paws and bile, for instance. Our people surely need to be educated more, and BSBCC is already on its right track through the ongoing talks and outreaching to people from place to place – including kindergartens.
We better learn to show appreciation from now on, or we would not have anything to appreciate in future. Come and try it by yourself. You will know how it feels helping these cute animals to have a better home and restoring their second chance to live in the wild. Thank you.