Video by Chiew Lin May
Life is meant for great adventures and best friends!
Text by Emily Tan Yu En
Photo by Chiew Lin May
On January 18th 2015, Montom was rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit from Kampung Melangkap, Kota Marudu and sent him to BSBCC on 21st of January, 2015. The story reported to the Wildlife Rescue Unit was the owner’s dog chased away Montom’s mother and she left him behind. He was taken and kept as a pet for a year in a chicken wire mesh cage and fed with human food. The owner was willing to surrender Montom to the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit.
We introduced Montom to the other sub-adult group and was pleased to see him get along well with all the bears. After a few years, Montom is no longer a sub-adult bear so we’re going to let him join the adult bear group and let other sub-adult bears to join in his previous group.
Montom was introduced to the adult bears which included Rungus, Ah Lun, Julaini, Ah Bui and Fulung. Montom was introduced one-by-one for the first six days as he will feel surprise and afraid if he meet all the bears at the same time. At first, Montom played well with all the bears but Rungus and Ah Bui didn’t really likes to play with him as they will stay on aside or rest on the enrichment in the buffer cage. Few days later, all the bears play along with him and they’re trying learn to understand each other better even though sometimes they play rough to each other. They play around and chase each other and no aggression found during the whole integration.
Here are some photos during the integration of Montom with other adult bears.
Integration Montom with Julaini and Ah Lun
Integration Montom with Rungus and Fulung
After all the integration, we let Montom join with the adult bear group to the enclosure .They will move around in the enclosure searching for food. Montom get to learn some surviving skills from the bears such as climbing, self-defence, digging and others.
Text by Chen Fang, 陳昉
Photos by Cheng Fang & Chiew Lin May
後記：在志工的兩周裡面有兩天休息日，其中一天先去了旁邊的紅毛猩猩中心，之後和同行的志工參加了fireflies trip，另一天到了Rainforest Discovery Centre看到很多很多從來沒看過的鳥或是動物，我相信喜歡大自然的人一定會很熱愛這裡的一切的!!
26th March 2019 marks the official date for the Sun Bear Ambassador Programme (SBAP); hence embarked the first official collaboration between BSBCC with Politeknik Sandakan, a local tertiary institution which is located nearby. SBAP is a great platform between the two parties for encouraging local involvements with environmental and wildlife education based volunteerism. It was such a pleasure to kick start this kind of joined effort with Politeknik Sandakan and hope that there will be more local institution collaborations with us in the future. An informative and passionate talk was given by our CEO & Founder, Dr Wong Siew Te before the SBAP being officiated by TS Dr Kesana a/l Ulaganaten, which is the Head of Department for Science & Mathematics, representing the Director of Politeknik Sandakan. A little official launching gimmick was also done to represent the collaboration before further discussion between BSBCC and Politeknik Sandakan on how the collaboration will goes for the next few years. #SunBearAmbassadorProgramme #BSBCC #PoliteknikSandakan #WildlifeConservation #Volunteeer #SBAP #Sabah #SunBear #BorneanSunBear
Video by Chiew Lin May
Did you know that sun bear has a long tongue?
Pusat Tuisyen Cerdik Minda has once again visited BSBCC today, after their visit to Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC). A total of 69 students from Primary 1 to 6 and 8 accompanying teachers involved in this visit. The students were given presentation and activities by Ms. Melynda, after being divided into 7 groups of 7 to 9 students. Before they went to the observation platform to see the sun bears roaming in the forest enclosure, they were also given a task within each group to enhance their understanding and share their knowledge by presenting to their fellow friends on different topics about Sun Bear. Thanks again for the visit! #EnvironmentalEducation #AwarenessProgramme #PrimarySchool #SaveSunBear
Text By Emily Tan Yu En
Photos By BSBCC & APE Malaysia
Hey everyone! I’m Emily Tan Yu En, 17 from Penang, Malaysia and I just graduated from high school. I am waiting for my SPM results and I have 3 months before entering university. I came across this volunteering programme as my parents got to know about it from Mr Wong. Even though I’m a Malaysian, I’ve never been to Sabah before and I was really excited about this programme. I am no stranger to sun bears as I saw one in a mini zoo in Peninsula Malaysia. There are two sun bears in that enclosure and you can tell from their facial expression that they’re not being treated well in the zoo. Their enclosure is really small and they only get contact with each other. That was the first experience with sun bears.
My volunteering programme starts from 5th of January until 18th of January and there are five more volunteers at that time but I’m the only one who has a two week placement. I’ve experience a lot of first experiences throughout the project. For my two weeks in the bear house, I get to clean the cages, work in the kitchen, do enrichments for the bears and also a lot of funny moments like getting stuck in the mud after collecting banana leaves , falling in the drain because of a flood , a piece of wood fell on my foot and a lot more. I also get to build a swing for the cub with my buddy, Brandon and Ieda. The volunteers from Ape Malaysia are really nice and I really had a great time with them. We played card games every night and we laughed a lot.
After finishing the two weeks volunteering time at BSBCC, I went back to Penang and soon returned to Sabah as a volunteer for as I missed it so much! Unlike January, this time there’s no other volunteer and I will be staying at the staff house ( Bjorn Hala ). I get to work in the kitchen for three weeks and also do some enrichment. I think I consider myself lucky because this time I get to work at the platform and also outreach to Lahad Datu. I get to know more about the hard work that all the staff have done for the bears and the efforts by the keepers in the bear house.
I’m really grateful that I get to work with all the staff and I am able to observe the sun bears at close quarters. They’re really cute and I’m still amazed by their size, behaviour and a lot more. I’m also really pleased that I was able to join the health check of Mamatai and Diana. I enjoyed outside feeding the most as I was able to have a closer look at the bears eating the fruit and I also get so lucky one time that I saw two bears climbing the same time.
I realised how important the staff in the centre are to the bears after working with them for 5 weeks. All the keepers treat the bears sincerely and they taught me a lot about sun bears. I appreciate all the efforts given by the staff and also all the knowledge about the bears. I also want to thank my housemates at Bjorn Hala for taking care of me and taking me everywhere around Sandakan. All the lame jokes from the keepers really help and thanks to all the keepers in the bear house for treating the bears so sincerely. I’ll sure miss the time working with all of the bears and the staff.
On 19th of March 2019, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) Environmental Education (EE) Unit teamed up with Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP) EE units to organized a successful outreach programme organized by SWD to SMK Simpangan, Paitan. Aimed to raise awareness among the students and teachers on the conservation of wildlife and of course, for our part, the cute sun bears. The programme itself filled with various activities such as talks, exhibitions, interactive games and video shows to enhance the effectiveness of the outreach. For sure, we hope this will become a stepping stone for our effort to continuously educate people about our wildlife and ultimately achieving our objective to save and conserve our wildlife for our future generations.
Video by Chiew Lin May
Bintang on her first day of arrival vs four years later.. She was rescued from an illegal house pet and was sent to the BSBCC on 15th July 2014.
Today, Bintang grows up learning to be a wild bear. It takes a lot of time and love for Bintang to forget her traumatic past.
We have two things that sun bears do not, which is the voice and freedom. Please use your voice to help them!
BSBCC has sent off two staffs from our Environmental Education unit (Gloria Ganang and Melynda Cheok) for a 4-day training workshop which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Monday 11th to Thursday 14th March 2019 with a field visit to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre on Friday 15th March. The workshop was hosted by Free the Bears Fund, in collaboration with San Diego Zoo Global and support from the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA). The training workshop includes lectures, seminars and practical exercises by recognized leaders in the field of social science and behaviour change, including Dr. Diogo Verissimo, Dr. Sarah Thomas, and Dr. Elizabeth Davis. In this workshop the participants was introduced to the processes of planning and evaluating educational programmes, including; (1) Strategic planning for designing an educational programme (including the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria conservation education standards), (2) Understanding key concepts in social science and behavior change, and (3) How to design and implement monitoring and evaluation of educational programs (including questionnaire design and other methods). A wide range of people participated from six nations and more than 10 different organizations represented. It was a great platform to networking and exchanging the works of the other organizations doing in conservation education.