Yeah, another school visited BSBCC today on April 13th 2019, and this time it was from SK Bukit Balacon consisting 50 pre-school students, accompanied by teachers and also parents. They were exposed to information about sun bear, and seizing the opportunity to see the bears in the forest enclosures. They were very lucky; one bear are visibly sleeping on a fallen tree buttress root, while several adults were roaming nearby to look for food. It is a happy sharing session with the kids and also the parents. Thanks for the visit, SK Bukit Balacon!
Video by Chiew Lin May
Having respect for animals makes us better humans." -Dr.Jane Goodall
Tan-Tan seems to be super excited for the weekend in the wild! A little LOVE can make a BIG difference! Please help Tan-Tan and her friends the life they deserve -Wild
Text by Jane Leonora Kostelnyk
Photos by Jane Leonora Kostelnyk & Chiew Lin May
I visited Borneo for the first time in 2018 on a tour which included a visit to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. I have always loved bears but had never heard of sun bears until I came to the Centre. I was saddened to learn that the sun bears are an endangered species facing extinction and I picked up a brochure about volunteering opportunities here, which prompted me to apply to volunteer at the Centre for two weeks. I was somewhat apprehensive because I am older than the average volunteer and have a desk job, so physical work on a daily basis isn’t something I’m used to! Spurred on by my desire to do something to try to help the plight of the sun bear, though, I went ahead and applied for a place on the programme.
I am very pleased that I did so because I love working with the sun bears. They are very cute, as the photos demonstrate, and each has his/her own personality. I am not yet able to recognize all the sun bears but I can identify some of them. Everyone at the Centre is friendly and welcoming and willing to answer the numerous questions I’ve asked! There is a good team spirit here and it is clear that all the staff here really do care about the well-being of the bears.
The volunteers are given a variety of jobs to do and I have even acquired some new skills along the way! Never before have I done any carpentry, but during my time here I have helped (with guidance and patience from the bear keepers) to construct a structure designed to help one of the bears overcome his fear of leaving the bear house and step into the forest enclosure. It is very fulfilling to be involved in helping the bears in this way. The bears have all been kept as ‘exotic pets’ or by unlicensed mini-zoos in appalling conditions in the past, so they require a large amount of rehabilitation and help to enable them to acquire skills to help them survive in the forest.
Each afternoon the volunteers are involved in creating enrichment for the bears. This could involve wrapping pieces of fruit sprinkled with curry powder inside a parcel of leaves to encourage the bears to develop their foraging skills, or it might involve finding dry leaves for those bears who have not yet plucked up courage to leave the bear house to enjoy the sensation of walking on a natural surface. Any suggestions the volunteers have for enrichment are welcomed by the staff at the Centre, so there is the chance to be creative!
To anyone who is interested in wildlife and wants an experience in an exotic setting, which is both worthwhile and enjoyable, I would wholeheartedly recommend signing up as a volunteer with the Centre – whatever your age or background. It will be an unforgettable two weeks.
BSBCC is delighted to welcome Datuk Isham Ishak, the Secretary General and his delegates visit from Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia. During the visit, presentation and guided tour were delivered by our CEO and Founder, Dr Wong Siew Te. All of the delegates enjoyed the good weather with good sharing session while went up to the BSBCC’s viewing platforms to observe the sun bears in their forest enclosure. We are deeply grateful for the visit and hope there will be more collaboration in the future. #BSBCC
Video by Chiew Lin May
Sun bear is a very agile bear!
Tan-Tan using her long and curved claws to help her in climbing trees.
A group of students with accompanying teachers and parents from SK Tanjong Aru Sandakan visited BSBCC as part of their Educational School Camp ("Kem Menggapai Impian Jaya 2019") activity. The group was given a brief presentation by Mdm Risnayati after observing the bears from our two observation platforms. Thanks for the visit and see you again soon for the school outreach programme on this coming Wednesday! 😊 #SchoolVisit #BSBCC #EnvironmentalEducation
On 2nd and 3rd of April 2019, BSBCC was invited by the Sabah Wildlife Department to join the 15th Meeting of The Asean Working Group on The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and Wildlife Enforcement (15th SWG CITES-WE) exhibition at Hotel Four Points, Sandakan. Today, 4th of April 2019, BSBCC was honored to welcome the visit by the delegates. During the visit, short briefings and guided tour were delivered by our founder Dr. Wong Siew Te; the delegates enjoyed a good sharing session while went up to the BSBCC viewing platforms to observe the rescued Sun Bears in the forest enclosure. Thank you for visiting us and we hope that the visit can help us to promote BSBCC. Let's save the endangered species together!
Yesterday on the 31st of March 2019 marked another achievement for Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Sandakan Campus as both parties successfully organized a programme called as Sun Bear Ambassador Search. The programme aimed to raise awareness among the students and also the public members who join a charity run called as Aloha Run, which was simultaneously launched with the first programme. The programme itself actually started on the 30th of March, in which the 10 ambassador candidates visited BSBCC to gather information about the sun bear, the centre itself and the conservation effort done. The participants then involved in the Eco Wear competitions, Q&A session to gauge their knowledge about the sun bear and its conservation and also poster presentation. This programme also became the first appearance of the Politechnic Sun Bear Ambassadors (Yes, BSBCC got ambassadors from two different institutes!), featuring Mr Elton and Mr. Logavendra assisting the staffs at the exhibition, which was also participated by Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP) and Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC). Ultimately, despite of the challenges we faced, we can always believe there will be a bright future for the sun bear and the wildlife in general as we continuously educate and attract people to join us to love, adore, and conserve them.
BSBCC was honored to welcome the visit from Primary Industries Minister YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim and her delegates, which also includes representatives from different agencies (MPOCC and MPOB), Sabah State Government, media and documentary team. During the visit, short briefings and guided tour were delivered by Gloria Ganang, Audrey Wong, and Tee Thye Lim. All of the delegates enjoyed the good weather with good sharing session while went up to the BSBCC’s viewing platforms to observe the sun bears in their forest enclosure. We are deeply grateful for the visit and the donation given to the Centre.