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Text by: Sufiah Umaira' bt Noor Kamal Azlin
Photos by: Sufiah Umaira' bt Noor Kamal Azlin and Seng Yen Wah
After 2 years spending our industrial training online.. finally we’ve got the chance to do it physically. And choosing BSBCC is the best choice I must say! Two weeks being here is NOT ENOUGH. I learned a lot from all of the experienced workers & I’ve never felt any pressure from them. It was all fun and full of excitement to learn something new from them. Plus, all the staffs there were very welcoming & very friendly. I was amazed on how they took care of the sun bears’ welfare, giving the freedom for them to express their natural behaviour and Wawa (the sun bear) is now living happily in Tabin! We learned so much about the sun bears' behaviour, life cycle, current issues. I just love how the staffs introduced each of the sun bears based on their behaviour, the physical appearance while we were still struggling to recognise each of them.. but of course I recognise my favourite bear, Amaco, the legend! I really hope I can see him again soon if I get the chance to volunteer here again!
Being the buddy to Roger, together with Faiz was fun. Roger is a very well-experienced person, spent 7 years there in BSBCC. He always says, “Come on oyaa, tunjukkan wanita itu bukan lemah” while I’m struggling to saw the bolt nut. I learned a lot of survival technique from him too. We also built a “4-tyres-swing” for Joe, Logan and Romolina as a structure enrichment. Faiz was so happy when Pradeep showed him a video of Romo climbing the tyres, it was a success! It felt great to contribute something to the sun bears. The most fun part is when we made various fruit flavoured ice blocks with bananas, papayas, apples, & honeydew. It looks so yummy but unfortunately they are for the sun bears .
If I were asked what is the best part volunteering here, I would say doing the health check for Kina who was initially suspected to be pregnant. It was my first time to observe the procedure of a health check on a wildlife animal conducted by resident veterinarian Dr Boon. Dr Boon and the staffs taught us how to take the temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and measurements of certain body parts. She also taught us how to interpret the X-ray and ultrasound images while Wawa elaborated more on the computed radiography. Other than that, we finally learned how to do simple flotation and thin blood smear (after 2 years studying it…). Never thought thin blood smear was that difficult but after a lot of practicing, finally we got the right technique!
In summary, we learned a lot here in BSBCC. I will miss working here with the very sporting staffs David (commando), Roger, Oliver, Pradeep, Logan, Mizuno, Ivan and others. Also, listening to Dr Wong’s story on how he open this centre (adore how passionate Dr Wong is not only towards the sun bears, but all animals generally), feeding the sun bears while listening to the history of the place and to make food-based enrichment while having a sharing session. I am very thankful for this opportunity. Thank you so much, BSBCC.