A conservation story wrapped in an adventure
BEARTREK is a feature length documentary that follows renowned bear biologist and naturalist Chris Morgan on a global crusade to understand and conserve the rarest bears on Earth. Join Chris on an epic motorcycle adventure across four continents to the wildest places on Earth -uncover the secretive nature of the world’s most endangered bears, discover the threats facing them in the wild, and meet dedicated individuals racing to saving them from extinction.
Our film is an emotional one. Why? Because the places, people and bears that we will be meeting along the way will move you. The destinations are exotic (among them are Peru, Mongolia, Borneo, Alaska and India). The bears will amaze you (India alone has four species), and the stories will grip you. Imagine tracking sloth bears by elephant back in tiger country, following the emotional release of a captive sun bear in Borneo, or immersing yourself in a tiny Andean town where a soccer league determines the fate of the local bears.
BEARTREK brings the amazing world of bears to the big screen as you have never seen before -a stunning natural history adventure that will change your view of the world, and inspire you to take action.
I am honored to be part of story featured in BEARTREK. In this movie, I will tell you my field work on sun bears in the rainforest of Borneo and show you some of the very rare footages of sun bear. Sun bears receive very little media coverage and publicity until now. I hope BEARTREK will introduce you this little known and little bear species- the sun bear!
Click here to see the latest promo video on BEARTREK
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Sun bears are the least know bears and a forgotten bears species as I always call them. Certainly, it is not surprise that not many people know who I am and thus a proper introduction is needed for the readers of this blog to get to know me better as well as my work with sun bears.
I am a Malaysian Chinese, born in 1969 and raised in Penang at northern Peninsular Malaysia. “Wong” as I am known as, is actually my family name, and “Siew Te” is my first name. I love animals all my life. Since I was a first grader, “animal expert” was my ambition on the student record until the very last year in high school. Not surprisingly, my childhood was companioned by various kinds of pets. I became a successful pet breeder during my teenage. Studying abroad in Taiwan in 1989 was a turning point in my life. Although I was studying animal husbandry and veterinary, I had begun to appreciate wildlife even more when I was an active member in the student chapter of the Bird Watching Society. Through my binoculars, I learned to appreciate the beauty of wildlife, nature, and forest. Ironically, I also witnessed unlawful mist netting of wild birds, poaching of wildlife, illegal pet trades, and habitat degradation.
After graduated the animal husbandry and vet program, Prof. Kurtis Pei, a wildlife professor at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, recruited me as his research assistant. It was then I started my career as a field biologist/research assistant doing wildlife survey, camera trapping, radio collaring and tracking large mammals, taking care of endangered species at Pei’s wildlife rescue center, and all of goofy stuff people seen in Discovery Channel.
In 1994, I came to University of Montana to seek a dream that was considered as “difficult task” for many people from ordinary Asian family. The dream, which put me on a right track of my career, was to pursue a bachelor degree in Wildlife Biology. The same year, I met my then future academic advisor, Dr. Christopher Servheen, who was looking for a Malaysian student to conduct an ecological study on sun bears. In 1998, I began to study the ecology of Malayan sun bears in a rainforest of Malaysian Borneo as a project for M.S. thesis. For the first time, the study revealed the mysterious life history of this little known bear and many ecological aspects of Bornean rainforest. In 2002, I started my doctorate program at the same university. In view of there were so much unknown about sun bears, I decided the effects of logging on sun bears at the same study area where I did my MSc study in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo. Because of the conservation achievement from the project, I was appointed to co-chair the Sun Bear Expert Team for the IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, from 2002-2005.