This week, from May 23rd until May 26th, 2023, our Environmental Education Unit visited Pitas district, visiting three schools and two community villages for an education and awareness programme. Our team is pairing up with a few organisations, such as the Sabah Wildlife Department, RDC Sepilok, the Sabah Forestry Department, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Orangutan Appeal UK, Forest Solutions Malaysia, and the Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre. We are grateful to have support and assistance from the Sabah Education Department, Yayasan Sime Darby and Yayasan Hasanah, teachers, and community villagers in order to run this programme.
We were very honoured to welcome a visit from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change. Thank you very much for spending the time to visit BSBCC, and we hope that they enjoyed seeing the bears and, at the same time, learning about our efforts in conserving the world's smallest bear species.
Thank you Kolej Komuniti Semporna for visiting us! We hope everyone enjoyed seeing the Sun Bears and help us to spread the words! See you again next time!
It's been a great success for International Sun Bear Day 2023! The big event was informally started with the pre-event activity that was held from May 13 until May 15. For the pre-event activity, we conducted a Sun Bear Challenge activity for the visitors, where they needed to complete a few tasks to win the limited edition canvas bag exclusive to International Sun Bear Day 2023.
On May 16, International Sun Bear Day 2023 was formally launched by the opening speech from BSBCC's CEO and founder, Dr. Wong Siew Te, welcoming the students and teachers invited from SJK (C) Min Chung, SK. Bambangan, and SJK (C) Yuk Choi. The event continued with the drama competition and sun bear explorace that the school's students participated in simultaneously. Not forgetting our supporters from all around the world, Dr. Wong Siew Te brought them virtually to the forest enclosure of BSBCC by sharing with them stories and personal experiences about sun bear with an emphasis on the event's theme, "Love Sun Bear, Our National Treasure" The cake-cutting ceremony for International Sun Bear Day 2023 and birthday celebration for Dr. Wong Siew Te were done shortly after the winner announcement for the Drama Competition and Sun Bear Explorace activity. It's an honour for us to celebrate our big event together with the teachers from the invited schools to celebrate Teacher's Day with us. The event wrapped up with the winner announcement for online contests in the afternoon. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you for joining our contests.
We would like to thank SJK (C) Min Chung, SK Bambangan, and SJK (C) Yuk Choi for their participation in this event. Also to our Sun Bear Ambassadors for their hard work in helping us from the pre-event until the actual event. Not forgetting to express our gratitude to Yayasan Hasanah, the Sime Darby Foundation, and the Ministry of Finance for their great support for us. Together, we love sun bear, our national treasure!
Text and Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Claire for her incredible support as an animal healer at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). Her expertise in energy healing, essential oils, and sensory enrichments has made a profound impact on the well-being of our bears.
Claire, your dedication and compassionate approach to animal healing have been truly remarkable. Your energy healing techniques have provided a holistic and healing experience for our beloved bears, promoting their overall balance and vitality. The use of essential oils as part of sensory enrichments has created a stimulating and therapeutic environment for them.
On behalf of the entire team at BSBCC, I want to extend our deepest thanks for your invaluable contributions. Your passion for animal welfare and your commitment to their well-being have been truly inspiring. We are incredibly grateful for your expertise in energy healing and the positive effects it has on our bears.
Your work has brought a sense of peace and healing to our bears, and we cannot thank you enough. Thank you for being an incredible part of our journey. We look forward to continuing this important work together.
Big bear hugs!🐻🌿🙏
The first energy healing session was done on Kukuton. Claire explained to us that energy healing was a way to balance the energy flow in the individual which can help with reducing stress, anxiety and promote their well-being. It is also a way for her to 'connect' with the individual. She also presented different essential oils to him to see which scent he prefers. His preference of certain oils may help us to pinpoint any underlying conditions Kukuton may have and can help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety.
While doing the healing session, we noticed a difference in Kukuton from being restless at first to eventually laying down and resting on his hammock.
We also did healing sessions on Amaco (our oldest bear), Along, Dodop and Ronnie Boy. It was very interesting and mind opening to watch Claire do these sessions. The sessions gave us an insight to the bears mental health and emotions. We discovered that Along, who sometimes act out aggressively, is a misunderstood and sensitive bear. Along is not an aggressive bear, however, his behavior is derives from previous trauma and is triggered by certain noise or smells.
Amaco, according to Claire, was hard to connect to and is quite closed off. After a few sessions with him Amaco showed signs of being more relaxed and Claire sensed that Amaco wanted to be seen. With that information, our team has continued giving Amaco enrichments and extra love that he deserves.
Claire also taught some of our keepers a new sensory enrichment. This involved using gunny sacks stuffed with dried leaves and sprayed with scents such as Orange Blossom and Rose.
These scents have their own health benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety.
The bears absolutely loved these scents and we observed them playing with the gunny sacks. Nano tried to fit his big body in the tiny bag, while Noah and Dodop would rub their bodies on it. Rudy would take it up and down to her basket and would shake it around vigorously.
Do watch the videos below to see our bears playing with the sensory enrichment made by Claire and our keepers.
We also made several infused honey using Tumeric, Ginger, Garlic and Cinnamon which can be used in other enrichments that keepers would make for them. This was a hit with all the bears! Who doesn't love a honey treat!