Exhibition organised by the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu
On the 23rd of June, 2023, we attended an exhibition organised by the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. The event was in conjunction with the launch of the new Endocrinology Laboratory at ITBC, officiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Profesor Ir. Dr. Rosalam Sarbatly. Also present at the event was Dr. Janine Brown, the Head of the Endocrinology Laboratory, Centre for Species Survival, Smithsonian Institute.
The event was attended by secondary school and university students, in which the event itself can inspire any budding future conservationists and scientists. We would love to thank ITBC for the invitation to the event and seeking forward to any more possible cooperation in the future.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! BASK BEAR COFFEE HELPS SUN BEAR TENOM RETURN HOME.
We are thrilled to announce that Bask Bear Coffee is adopting Tenom, our recently rescued baby sun bear, under the My Bear Adoption Programme.
Bask Bear Coffee is Malaysia's leading innovative coffee disruptor, starring Aren® palm sugar, a traditionally sourced healthier option from Borneo with a unique tinge of caramel that accentuates their barista-handcrafted dark-roast Arabica brews. Born and brewed locally, Bask Bear Coffee is inspired by the Malayan Sun Bear. Uniquely distinctive, they are what keeps the forest alive and diverse. This inspires them to do the same for the world with every cup that they serve.
For more information, visit www.baskbear.com and follow their social media on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. @baskbearcoffee
We hope that through this collaboration we can raise more awareness about sun bears and their habitat.
#bsbcc #bsbccadoptionprogramme #adoptionprogramme #savesunbear #sunbearadoptionprogramme
Text and photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
Rudy has now moved from our quarantine area to the Bear House! Here she has been getting used to being neighbours with Kina, Soo and BJ. We have noticed tremendous progress with Rudy. From being shy to climb and exploring anything too high up to now being a great climber and enjoying sleeping in her basket or hammock! She’s learnt a lot from her other bear neighbours.
Rudy is generally a nervous bear when it came to going out into the training pen but eventually, she would build up the courage and zoom straight out into the training pen not even glancing at the snacks we put out for her. The new smells coming from outside intrigued her more and she would rather explore the training pen than eat her favourite bananas. On her first day training, she did get anxious and couldn’t find her way back into the night den once she had reached the ground. Her keepers did not give up on her and eventually coaxed her back into her night den where she could relax.
After several sessions of fence training for Rudy, we finally observed her to recognise the hot wire. Another big step towards the forest enclosure! Rudy would nervously look at her bananas near the hot wire and quickly but carefully take to eat it.
This week has been the biggest week for Rudy as we are confident enough to release Rudy into the forest enclosure. The first few sessions were unsuccessful and Rudy would just sit on top of the ramp not wanting to climb down to the forest ground. She would even reach her little body out with her back feet still touching the ramp just to grab a banana.
We decided to let her out through a different route and also place out all the most delicious food out for her so she couldn’t resist. It worked! At last Rudy slowly made her way down to the forest ground eating her favourites first (bananas!). Most of the time she stayed near the ramp exploring and eating. In time, she explored a bit further into the forest enclosure under the watchful eyes of her keepers. Rudy even started to climb a tree but got spooked by a noise nearby so she continued on digging and exploring on the ground instead. She is constantly alert with her surroundings. Even though she is still quite nervous and anxious to be outside, Rudy is starting to show her natural bear instincts when she is out in the forest enclosure. With time and patience, we are sure that she will settle in and feel more comfortable in her new home.
From being a pet and living in a cage to finally being out and free in the forest enclosure, from arriving as a shy and scared bear to being a playful and curious bear. Our team are so proud of you Rudy! We are grateful to our sponsors Hasanah Foundation and Sime Darby Foundation for supporting our cause and helping us to rehabilitate more bears like Rudy. Thank you for all your help and support!
Today we received a group visit from children of Taska Kemas Taman Gum-Gum Jaya. They were introduced to the sun bear and did sunbear mask colouring. Later, they were brought to the observation platforms to see the bears roaming in the forest enclosure. They seemed to be having a good time exploring the forest and seeing other wild animals. Hopefully, the children will gain new knowledge about sun bears and help spread awareness among their friends and family. Thank you and see you again!
Text and Video by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
Playful Tenom loves her termites! She's quite a natural and exhibits many normal bear behaviours which leads us to think maybe she was able to learn these from her mum before she was seperated. Nevertheless, our team will do our best to continue giving her the bear-y best life
As always, we are grateful to our supporters such as Hasanah Foundation and Sime Darby Foundation for supporting our efforts to rehabilitate bears like Tenom.
Big Bear Hugs!
Text and Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
Introducing Tenom! A 3-month-old female bear cub weighing in at 4kg. On the 29th May 2023 Tenom was bought for rm500 from a village in the Beaufort-Sipitang border and was then surrendered to the Wildlife Department and then transferred to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (LKWP). She arrived at LKWP on 2nd June 2023 bright and alert but with some old scabs on her head and body.
On the 10th of June, our team successfully transferred tiny Tenom from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to BSBCC. It was a long journey but worthwhile for this baby cub. Tenom is an active and feisty bear. When we first met her, she was already climbing up and down in her cage. She is vocal when unhappy and definitely makes sure she's heard. Such a loud bark for a small body!
Upon arrival at BSBCC, she seemed very curious when exiting her transfer cage. Once she was out, there was no stopping her from climbing and exploring every inch of that cage. She did not appear scared or nervous but instead, she quite enjoyed the dried leaves and furniture that was in the cage. Her caretakers seem to be the ones nervous and scared seeing her climbing and hanging upside down! During the night, we observed her getting very comfortable and sleeping in her pile of dried leaves. Tenom is playful, curious, and full of energy!
We are happy that Tenom did not end up being someone's pet at home and living in a tiny cage. Our team will continue to do its best to give Tenom the best bear experience and hope that one day she can be returned to the forest. Nevertheless, it is sad to wonder where or what happened to Tenom's mother? In an ideal world, Tenom would be living happily with her mum in the forest learning the bear necessities naturally.
Yes, bear cubs are adorable but they are definitely not pets!! In Sabah, it is illegal to be in possession of a Sun bear as a pet. Do report to our Sabah Wildlife Department if you see any suspicious activity.
Additionally, we would like to thank Hasanah Foundation and the Sime Darby Foundation for supporting our conservation efforts. With their help, we are able to continue rehabilitating bears like Tenom and hopefully be able to release them back into the wild!
Sunday, 11 Jun 2023
By Stephanie Lee
KOTA KINABALU: A three-month-old sun bear cub named Tenom has avoided a life of being reared as a pet, and is now at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) for rehabilitation. BSBCC founder Dr Wong Siew Te said that the 4kg cub was bought for RM500 from a village in the Beaufort-Sipitang border on May 29.
He said after Tenom was rescued by wildlife rangers, it was surrendered to the Wildlife Department and then transferred to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. “She arrived at the wildlife park on June 2, bright and alert, but with some old scabs on her head and body,” he said when contacted.
Wong said his team of conservationists only transferred Tenom to the BSBCC on Saturday (June 10).
“It was a long journey, but worthwhile for this cub. Tenom is an active and feisty bear. When we first met her, she was already climbing up and down in her cage,” he said. “She is vocal when unhappy and definitely makes sure she's heard. She has such a loud bark for a small body,” added Wong.
Wong said Tenom was very curious of her new surroundings when she was allowed out of her cage upon arrival at the BSBCC and did not stop climbing and exploring her new enclosure.
He said Tenom did not appear scared or nervous, adding that she enjoyed the dried leaves and furniture that was in the cage. “Her caretakers seem to be the ones nervous and scared seeing her climbing and hanging upside down,” he said.
At night, they observed her getting comfortable and sleeping on her pile of dried leaves, said Wong.
“Tenom is playful, curious, and full of energy. We are happy that Tenom did not end up being someone's pet at home and living in a tiny cage,” he said.
He said his team will continue to do their best to give Tenom the best “bear experience" and hope that one day, she can be returned to the forest.
“Nevertheless, it is sad to wonder about what happened to Tenom's mother. In an ideal world, Tenom would be living happily with her mum in the forest learning the bare necessities naturally,” said Wong.
He said bear cubs are adorable but they are definitely not meant to be pets, adding that it is illegal to possess a sun bear or any parts of the animal.
He said that the public should report such incidents to the Sabah Wildlife Department for action.
Wong said poaching still exists and remains active in Sabah, and hopes that all offenders are arrested and prosecuted.
On May 12, it was reported that a protected sun bear was shot dead after the animal attacked an elderly man in the Telupid district, some 220km from kota Kinabalu. The bear was also kept as a pet before it escaped its cage. “We have been trying to stop this madness in Sabah for the past 15 years. We have used up so much resources, time and effort for rehabilitation and this kind of rescue work should come to an end, but yet, this is still happening,” Wong said. Towards this end, he thanked Hasanah Foundation and the Sime Darby Foundation for supporting their conservation efforts.
This week, our education team joined the Sabah Wildlife Department (Sandakan district) team for the Wildlife Awareness Outreach Programme (WAOP) in Paitan, Sabah. The targeted participants were the staff of Hibumas 2 Estate, Jebawang Sdn Bhd, Humana School, SK Binsulung, and the community of Kg. Binsulung. The RDC Sepilok, Sabah Forestry Department, was also involved in this programme. We worked together to plan how to run the programme, and each organisation took specific sessions with the students and community. We are blessed to receive help and support from the staff of Hibumas 2 Estate and Jebawang Sdn Bhd. Thank you so much for helping us with the arrangements and providing us with great hospitality and free accommodations.