Text and Photos by Tee Thye Lim
A health check has been performed on Bongkud by Dr. Diana Ramirez from Wildlife Rescue Unit, Sabah Widlife Department (SWD) and Wong on June 26th.
Through the health check, we found out that there are some conditions of Bongkud that need to be improved to make sure that she grow healthy under the care of BSBCC.
Bongkud, the latest recued sun bear who reached BSBCC on 19th June 2012, only weigh 16kg and consider as “underweight” her size.
Bongkud has a new set of permanant teeth and her canines are still erupting
Compare to a healthy sun bear, the coat of Bongkud is yellowish, meager, and dried. We suspected this condition is due to malnutrition.
At the same time, her body also has few patches of old wounds and scars on her head and paw. Wong suspected the wounds and scars could resulted from the rubbing against small cage in the previous cage where she grow up.
A scar was found on the upper left of her chest mark, which we don’t know the actual cause.
Rashes were found between her claws. Cream was applied by Dr. Diana on Bongkud’s claw.
Bongkud’s health check took us around 30 minutes to complete.
Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim
The BSBCC welcomed 21 students from Miami University today. They arrived at 11am and it was just the right time to see the bears resting or taking their naps in the enclosure, which is right after their feeding time. The bears were already on their most comfortable position between tree branches, taking their afternoon naps as the group emerge towards the observation platform. Sun Bears usually take naps in the afternoon for an hour or two. Seeing a bear resting between tree branches is always spectacular and amusing even for the BSBCC staff! You are one of the lucky ones if you get to see this, as this particular experience would be very rare especially in the wild. Sun bears might just move away when sensing human presence. We also get to share the experience of Manis, one of the adult female of the centre foraging for food on the forest floor.
While enjoying the tropical forest environment on the observation platform, Wong, the founder and CEO of BSBCC told fascinating stories about sun bears in the wild.
It is always a pleasure for us to share our interests and concerns about sun bears with as many people as possible. We would like to take this wonderful opportunity to thank the Miami University group for supporting us through their donation. Thanks for buying our t-shirts and bandanas as well! It would really help us in rehabilitating the sun bears and spread the words about the forgotten bear - the sun bears!
Text by Anna Wade
Photo: Siew Te Wong
Here at the centre, enrichment is a key focus and it is important that all of the staff and volunteers have a complete understanding of what providing enrichment entails. Over a 3 day period, BSBCC project manager's Wai Pak dedicated his time to helping the team to understand the importance of enrichment for all captive animals as well as the importance of meeting the animals daily needs. In attendance were the 3 office staff, Gloria, Thye Lim and Dawn, 2 of the keepers, Daniel and Beyri, the 3 current bear volunteers, Anna, Miriam and Leanne and the volunteers on the travellers program… so it was quite a full room!
Wai Pak broke the talks into 3 categories; the 1st talk was on animal welfare, the 2nd was on enrichment and the 3rd was on types of enrichment, and also gave examples of when enrichment can go wrong. Everyone was encouraged to engage in the talk by asking questions and there was some very good points raised, especially in regards to what is best for our bears at the centre. Overall the response from everyone involved was very positive. As many of the enrichment ideas have already proven to be successful with the bears, it encouraged us to think more outside the box. Hopefully everyone will take what they learnt away with them and use it to positively improve the lives of the bears and any captive animals they encounter in the future. Thanks Wai Pak!!
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
BSBCC recently received a new rescued pet sun bear cub. Kept in a small cage, this poor bear was first seen by a friend of BSBCC in a remote village call Bongkud near Poring Hot Spring in Ranau Township, central Sabah. He then reported the incident to BSBCC and we filed a report to Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). A rescue operation was conducted by the Sabah Wildlife Department's Wildlife Rescue Unit on June 7th.
We name this female cub "Bongkud," after the name of the village where she was rescued. It was already nightfall on June 19th when Bongkud arrived at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Weighing about 12 kg and with milk teeth attached, we estimated Bongkud about 10 months old. Unlike other sun bears, the coat of Bongkud looks rather dried, meager, and yellowish.
I suspected she is suffering from malnutrition, a common problem that we experience from captive sun bear cubs. Her body has few patches of old scars that could resulted from unknown wounds and rubbing against small cages.
Bongkud is tame and did not show any sign of aggression since she arrived at the centre. Her mellow behavior could mean one thing- she was captured from the wild at a very young age. We still have not received her full report about the confiscation and information about the previous owner so we have no way to tell about her history. We placed her in a temporary cage. A full medical examination and health check will be carried out soon by the SWD's veterinarian to check for potential illness and assess general health.
The number of rescued sun bear currently house at BSBCC is now reached 27 bears with the arrival of Bongkud. We hope we could provide a good and safe halfway house for her at the same time plans for reintroduction is underway. The task is never easy since the first day we started the project. However, with your help and support, we are determine to give these rescued sun bears a better home!
SANDAKAN: The Tourism Ministry will further assist the Sabah government in upgrading facilities at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok, near here.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said priority would be given to the application of a RM1.4 million allocation for renovaton works at the centre under the third rolling plan of the Tenth Malaysia Plan.
“This is based on the importance of the place as a research centre on the Bornean sun bear which is already well known throughout the world,” she said after visiting the centre Tuesday.
“The allocation is required to replace the narrow cages for the animal at the centre with a big open-air enclosure, as well as to upgrade other facilities.”
Dr Ng said the federal government, through her ministry, had already assisted in upgrading the walkway and observation centre which were completed in May. –Bernama
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/06/13/tourism-ministry-to-assist-in-upgrading-of-bornean-sun-bear-conservation-centre-new/#ixzz1xk8dyGXg
Text by Anna Wade
Here at the BSBCC, we rely on the generosity of others to help us support our centre. It is incredibly important for us to try and maintain a high profile to make sure that people are aware of our cause and the work that is being carried out to protect the Sun Bear species. Recently, we have received the support of Ipanema, a company that sells sandals worldwide.
The campaign was instigated by Matthias Gelber, who is also known as ‘The Green Man.’ As stated on his website, he has a ‘passion for preserving the planet’s natural environment,’ and after visiting the BSBCC with other volunteers in June 2012. He was determined to help raise awareness in Malaysia for the work being carried out here. After talking to our founder, Wong, he said that he felt ‘extremely fortunate for all the information provided in regards to conservation, rehabilitation and initiatives being carried out at the BSBCC for the future preservation, survival and freedom of the Sun Bears.’ Armed with the knowledge shared by Wong, he set out to share news of the BSBCC to a wider network, through Ipanema.
Named after a beach on the coast of Rio De Janeiro, Ipanema products aim to ‘represent much more than fashion.’ On their U.K. website, they state that they have ‘a strong environmental and ethical influence that aims to preserve all this natural beauty for generations to come.’ In contributing to the BSBCC it appears that this is not merely a statement, but a mission they intend to fulfil. On the 29th of March this year, Ipanema launched their Gisele Bündchen Spring/Summer collection, donating 3 Malaysian Ringgit to the BSBCC for every pair of sandals sold from March 1st to June 30th. Press coverage of the event was aired on Saffiyah, Quickie and Wanita Hari Ini with a positive response to the collection and its involvement with the BSBCC.
Not only is the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen range Sun Bear friendly, it is also environmentally friendly. In an interview at the campaign launch, Matthias Gelber said that the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen product materials had been designed specifically to ‘enhance the recyclability’ and he believed that it was a ‘3 in 1’ product as it was a ‘green brand, had green philosophy and supported a local charity.’
As the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen collection continues to raise money for the BSBCC, we give our heartfelt thanks to all of those who have been involved in this campaign. It is fundraisers like this that help us to continue to rescue and rehabilitate Sun Bears and provide the standard of care that they deserve. It also helps us to spread the word regarding the plight of Malaysia’s vulnerable bear. So what are you waiting for? Time to get a new pair of sandals to help sun bears!
Monday June 11, 2012
Boho chic: Where Ipanema meets Gisele
MENTION Brazil and you immediately think of Rio de Janeiro. Then your mind goes to beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema.
Along with the beaches, come images of gorgeous girls. Naturally, you can’t get any more gorgeous than world-famous Brazillian supermodel Gisele Bündchen!
Brazillian footwear label Ipanema has roped in the model to be the face for the brand.
Sandals in varied colours and designs for women and children.For Spring/Summer 2012, the link-up between these two hot Brazillian names has resulted in two new lines for women and children.
Boho-Chic – a fusion of Bohemian and Hippie styles – is a strong trend this season, representing neutral and colourful shades, floral prints and relaxed look of the Bohemian 70s. This natural, romantic style serves Gisele Bündchen’s new collection well, which has a casual and urban feel.
First, there’s Gisele Bündchen Bella where flowers are a constant in summer accessories, giving it a delicate look.
The flower appliqué is the big standout in low-slung sandals, not to mention the beaded straps that give a hand-crafted look with touches of romanticism.
One can also opt for the Gisele Bündchen Illuminata, which looks to the striking gladiator style sandals.
It also includes other details that make it modern and sophisticated: a fabric bow appliqué, animal print insoles and golden details on the straps. These sandals are comfortable and also durable. Best part? Its PVC-crafted material is 100% recyclable, so you’re sure to be walking with ease knowing you’ve done a little bit for Mother Nature.
For every pair of Ipanema Gisele Bündchen sandal sold, RM3 will be donated to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sabah that was founded in 2008.
The BSBCC creates the capacity to rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears into the wildlife. They provide an improved long-term living environment and animal welfare for captive bears that cannot be released; conducts research on wild and captive sun bears; and educates the public and raise awareness on the species currently listed as vulnerable (sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/).
The Bella women retails at RM96.90 (RM99.90 in Sabah and Sarawak) while the kids’ range are priced at RM76.90 (RM79.90 in Sabah and Sarawak).
The Iluminata women range is priced at RM109.90 (RM112.90 in Sabah and Sarawak), kids’ collection at RM89.90 (RM92.90 in Sabah and Sarawak).
Available at all Samba, Stadium, Studio R and Royal Sporting Houses stores nationwide. – S.S.Yoga