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From bird watching to sun bear conservation….A twenty years of journey in wildlife conservation
It all begins at the fall of 1989 when I first came to Taiwan from Malaysia to continue by college education. I recalled it was the second day of my college life in National Pingtung Agriculture College when I saw the poster of Bird Watching Club (BWC), posted at the notice board of the 1st Restaurant, announcing its first meeting of the semester and recruitment for new members. The poster caught my attention because of the word “Bird”. At that time, I never knew there was an activity call “bird watching”. What I did know about birds was keeping cage birds for amusing or bird singing, the hobby that I have been doing for few years at that time-keeping and breeding birds. The first impression after seeing that poster was “what a COOL student club!” As always, the first feeling toward something is always the right of choice: I am going to join them!
Sun Bear Conservation Weekend at Rare Species Conservation Centre, Kent, England
By Anna Cocker (Sun Bear Conservation Trust)
The Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent, England hosted a very successful fundraising event on Sunday 24th May and Monday 25th May 2009.
The event which was co-organised by the UK-based Sun Bear Conservation Trust (SBCT). This event was part of the endeavour to raise funds for sun bear conservation in South East Asia. Visitors at the centre had the opportunity to indulge in a selection of homemade cakes, including gingerbread bears, play the tombola and buy a range of bear goodies such as teddy bears and handmade sun bear cards, as well as plants. Visitors were also made sun bear aware by educational talks by Wai-Ming Wong (Sun Bear Conservation Trust member and PhD student) and leaflets on sun bear conservation. BBC Radio Kent joined in the action and interviewed Fiona McInally (Sun Bear Conservation Trust member) about sun bear conservation. In total, £278.48 was raised.
Text by Wai Pak Ng
Last April, a group of post grad students from University Putra Malaysia (UPM) visited to our centre to learn more about sun bears conservation, research and management. One month later, two UPM vet students also chosen BSBCC as a place to carry out their practical training. Mellissa Aw and Lim Seik Ni are the fourth year vet student. During their three week practical in BSBCC and Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, they were assigned to various jobs and duties from preparing the food, cleaning the cages, helping out in the clinic, to making a new cement floor for the bear!
I am glad to hear from Mellissa one evening where she said: “no doubt working at the bear centre is tiring, but I enjoy it very much”. Yes, as a keeper, I understand that there are nothing can be so rewarding to see your animals have a pleasant and comfortable place to stay and enjoy their toys or enrichment. We all reckon their hard work in our centre and really appreciate their care to the bears.
At last, BSBCC hopes that both Seik Ni and Mellissa had learnt something, gained their experience and share with their friends when they go back to UPM. BSBCC would also like to wish them have a very successful future.
The following posting was written by Brinne Walsh, Executive Director of the Alexander Abraham Foundation. Brie visited several sites and project supported by AAF in Sabah early this month including BSBCC.
By the time we reached the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, the sun was high, and the day was hot. We interrupted the Sun Bears during their siesta, asleep in their baskets. The first bear that greeted us was Suria, the baby of the group at the Centre. She came immediately to the front of her cage, and sniffed us out. After three days in the rainforest, I’m sure we smelt terribly, but it didn’t seem to scare her off. It was hard not to reach in and rub her head, despite her long claws. She was so adorable.
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