Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Debbie is now a sweet bear. From a very aggressive sun bear cub (good for her to be aggressive because she needed to) when she first came to BSBCC, she is now a very sweet and mellow sun bear cub. I can touch her nose. Sometime, she would let me stroke her paw in return. For sun bear, paw touching is a very important sign of trust because they will never let any stranger touch them, especially their paw.
After spending more than a month with us, Debbie finally trusted me for security and accepted me as a family, so to speak. Regardless of how much I do to comfort her and give her a good home, in her eyes however, I still see sadness, like an orphan losing her mother. In fact, Debbie the sun bear cub has lost her mother to poacher, and she was capture as pet.
I can watch her playing in her den for a long time. Her favorite position would be in laying down in her sleeping basket and chewing whatever enrichment toys we gave her that day. Few days ago I gave her a cardboard box. In tens of minutes, she shredded the hard cardboard box into small pieces....
Who agree with me if I say sun bear cub is very cute?
BUT, please don't keep sun bear as pet. They are totally protected and endangered wildlife, not pet!
People around the world are fascinated by wildlife and wildlife conservationists - they are captivated by the animals, and those people working in the remote corners of the Earth to save them. Wildlife Heroes provides a visual and written window into the world of these admired individuals, the fascinating species and the issues that must be resolved to save them.
With one-third of known species being threatened with extinction, wildlife conservationists are some of the most important heroes on the planet, and Wildlife Heroes profiles the work of 40 of the leading conservationists and the animals and causes they are committed to saving, such as Belinda Low (zebras), Iain Douglas-Hamilton (elephants), Karen Eckert (sea turtles), S.T. Wong (sun bear), Steve Galster (wildlife trade), and Wangari Maathai (habitat loss). Since we all should have an interest in conservation, there is a chapter providing information on ways people can get involved and make a difference. Chapter introductions are by author Kuki Gallmann, actor Ted Danson, actress Stefanie Powers, Congressman Jay Inslee, and TV personality Jack Hanna.
The book's stunning photos capture the beauty of the animals and the magnetism of the heroes as they work in the often grueling conditions where the animals live. Each chapter is introduced with a personal essay by celebrities who themselves are committed wildlife champions, including actor Ted Danson (Cheers, CSI), actress Stephanie Powers (Heart to Heart, Herbie Rides Again), US Representative Jay Inslee, TV Host Jack Hanna (Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures, Into The Wild), and author Kuki Gallman (I Dreamed of Africa).
Wildlife Heroes will appeal to both avid animal enthusiasts and casual readers wishing to learn more about our planet and the people working to protect it.
Julie Scardina is Animal Ambassador and Corporate Curator responsible for Animal Training and Animal Ambassador programs for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Scardina serves on the board of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, is an active mentor and board member with the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders and participates on the World Wildlife Fund National Council. She regularly travels into the field to learn about and document the projects and conservation issues so important today. Scardina shares her passion for animals and the parks education, conservation and rescue efforts as a monthly guest on the "Today" show and as a long time guest on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Scardina graduated with honors from San Diego State University.
Jeff Flocken is DC Office Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare where he leads the organization's policy experts advocating for animals. In this capacity he works on campaigns combating the wildlife trade and conserving polar bears, lions, whales, tigers, and elephants, among other species. Before this, Flocken worked for the US government doing international species conservation. Flocken has been a consultant on movies, books and television shows addressing wildlife issues, and serves on advisory boards for several wildlife organizations. Flocken is also the cofounder of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders initiative which mentors and provides training for up-and-coming wildlife leaders. He has a law degree from Wayne State Law School, and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan.
HUTAN, Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project
Friends of Bonobos
The International Crane Foundation
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International
The Ewaso Lions Project
Saiga Conservation Alliance
Rogerio Cunha de Paula
Vera da Silva
Save the Elephants
Raoul du Toit
International Rhino Foundation
National Geographic Society
Deep Search Foundation
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
TAKH: The Association for the Przewalski's Horse
Grace Ge Gabriel
International Fund for Animal Welfare
The Gallmann Africa Conservancy
Jane Goodall Institute
Houston Zoo El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center
Columbus Zoo Partners in Conservation
Lemur Conservation Foundation
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Grevy's Zebra Trust
Okapi Conservation Project of Gilman International Conservation
Wildlife Conservation Network
Green Belt Movement
Cheetah Conservation Fund
IUCN Tapir Specialist Group
William Holden Wildlife Foundation
Painted Dog Conservation
International Gorilla Conservation Programme
Center for Biological Diversity
Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme
Jaguar Conservation Fund
Judy St. Leger
SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
Australia Koala Foundation
Nguyen Van Thai
Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program
Bat Conservation International
Siew Te Wong
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center
The wildlife and wild places of our planet are threatened as never before by human population growth and our constant destruction of the natural environment. We desperately need wildlife heroes, and this timely book celebrates 40 of those who are struggling to save various species around the world. These men and women are shining inspirations, and hopefully, after reading this book, you will be inspired to do something yourself to help animals in need."
Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE, Founder - The Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace
"Environmental advocates Scardina and Flocken profile the grassroots organizations, tenacious scientists, and willful philanthropists that shape today’s conservation policy and practice. Each portrait centers on a threatened or endangered species and describes the life and work of the person who has dedicated his career to protecting the species from extinction. Organized into sections corresponding to the four elements—Earth, Water, Air, and Fire—with introductory essays by celebrities like Ted Danson, the subjects are grouped according to their habitat, with “Fire” focusing on the broader threats to the world’s ecosystems. The pithy summaries of the activists’ struggles are accompanied by informative tidbits about the biology, behavior, natural history, and cultural context of the target species, along with delightful photographs of both human and beast. From the grassland-dwelling maned wolf of Central South America to the iceberg-hopping emperor penguin of Antarctica, the book shows how negative human interference imperils the welfare of all living things, and suggests that by taking an active role in conservation, education, and community building, we can help prevent the tragic loss of the world’s biological diversity."
"Conservationists Scardina (a regular on Today and The Tonight Show) and Flocken have created an alluring book of dazzling photographs and stirring stories of adventure and breakthroughs that introduces intriguing "wildlife heroes" and portrays the imperiled animals they have dedicated, even risked, their lives to save… this keenly charismatic, solidly informative call for the preservation of life affirms that it is still possible, with concerted effort, to save animals from extinction."
Read more about this book at:
Text and photo: Maria Collin
This is Jelita - 35cm tall, and made of Schulte (BEST quality) alpaca, with a needle-felted muzzle and paw pads.
I created her as my contribution to the next BSBCC fundraiser ( in June), but in the meantime decided to try for a bit more publicity for Sun bears................and entered her in the Golden George competition (one of the teddy bear world's most prestigious). And, to my immense delight, she has been nominated!!!!!
The Golden George trophies ( teddy Oscars) will be presented in April at the Teddybär Total show in Münster (Germany). Awards are decided by a jury, but there is an opportunity for the public to cast a vote for the Public Choice Award - this can be done on-line here
http://teddybaer-total.de/golden-george/online-voting/ there is a little English flag at the top of the page - click on that and you will get a translation (should you need it!)
The online votes will be added to those of the show visitors.
Jelita would really appreciate your vote .......... and maybe, if you donate at the fundraiser, she might come and live with you.
Thank you Maria for your hard work to create Jelita. Last year Maria created Cerah the sun bear to raise awareness and the raise fund for the sun bear. The results was fabulous!
Thank you Maria!
Big bear hugs from Jelita in the forest enclosure of BSBCC!!