Video by Chiew Lin May
The long sharp claws and canines of the sun bear are handy for tearing apart tree bark.
Noah trying to find some yummy insects!
Text By Manuel Baumgartner & Sophie Baumgartner
Photos By Chiew Lin May & Sumira Muis@APE Malaysia
We are Manuel and Sophie from Switzerland and are currently travelling for 6 months. We will be in Borneo for 7 weeks. We are mammal watchers in our free time and are out in nature whenever we can. We are especially looking for bears and cats, but we are enjoying every single surprise that nature gives us.
Since last year we do not only want to observe animals, but also try to be more and more active in conservation. We wanted to learn more about the reintroduction process, be physically active, and because we love bears, the BSBCC volunteer program was perfect for us.
We were impressed by the organization of the team and how well the processes work: It doesn't seem easy to us to look at all these unique bears with unique needs! We were very happy to work with the nice, interested and helpful team. It was especially important for us to learn more about the reintroduction process and its conditions. We also wanted to have the opportunity to ask critical questions. Dr. Wong, the founder of the BSBCC, took a lot of time for us to ask all our questions and we were very grateful for this exchange and for all the things we learned.
BSBCC is honoured to be a part of Sepilok visit by the delegates of Australian and British High Commissioner to Malaysia: His Excellency Andrew Goledzinowski AM, His Excellency Charles Hay MVO, and Her Excellency Jane Bartlett. The delegates were welcomed by our CEO & Founder, Dr. Wong Siew Te. Briefings and information were given by Dr Wong, with guided tour to view the bears from our observation platform. A big thank you to the Australian and British High Commission to Malaysia for their visit and support!
Video by Chiew Lin May
Orphaned and kept as an illegal pet- one-year-old, Little Romolina needs endless love and care.
Let's see what happens when she has a "Hanging Spectacle Tyre"!
Video by Chiew Lin May
Sun bears do vocalize with a different type of sound.
Watch how Little Logan react when he encounters danger.
Text by Khairunnisa binti Mohd Faisal (Intern Student, University Science Malaysia)
Photos by Chiew Lin May
Every sun bear should be given an opportunity to be released into the forest. They deserve to live a free life in their natural habitat. There is this one sun bear named Panda. She is 11 years old and originated from Tawau District. Panda is in good terms with a male bear, Kudat. She was named “Panda” because both of the bears were mistakenly displayed as “Panda Bears” at a private mini zoo located in Kudat District.
Fence training is conducted because the forest enclosure is surrounded with an electric fence which is to make sure the bears do not escape from the forest enclosure. A few years ago, Panda had her first fence training. However, Panda failed the test as she was zapped and refused to go out to the training pen.
There is always a second chance for Panda as we believe that she can do better. This year, we gave Panda a second chance and conducted another fence training for her. To sum the experience up, Panda did very well and so much improvement was recorded during the sessions.
On the first day of fence training, Panda did not want to go out from the cage. She spent most of her time sniffing the sliding door and tapping the ground. She likes to tap a lot. Two of her front limbs were out and she managed to only use her tongue to eat the food in the training pen. She ended up pacing in the cage after she was no longer able to grab any more food in the training pen.
On the fifth day of training, Panda made a huge improvement in which her whole body was out to the training pen. She started by observing the environment in the training pen and began to eat the prepared food in the middle of the pen. However, she was a little bit insecure whenever she heard noise made by another bear. Whenever there was a strange sound, Panda would run into the cage and pace. It took a while for Panda to go out to the training pen again.
Panda got her first zap on the 7th day of training. Amazingly, she did not panic. She stayed in the training pen and continued searching for food. Panda approached the electrical fence area and grabbed the food underneath it using her claws. It looked like Panda was aware of the fence and kept some distance whenever she tried to grab the food.
Over 4 consecutive fence training sessions, Panda made herself comfortable in the training pen. She started to remove the log to find food, often got herself near the fence to grab food underneath it and spent a longer amount of time observing the environment in the training pen instead of pacing in the cage. It was so overwhelming to see such improvement in her. However, she was still startled by the noise made by other bears. When there was a noise, Panda took the food in the training pen and brought it into the cage and continued eating there. Panda is very sensitive to loud noise as she feels unsafe whenever she hears it.
Starting Day 11 until Day 17 of the fence training session, Panda felt safer in the training pen and she already knew the right technique to grab the food underneath the electrical fence. The prepared food for the session is almost finished being eaten by her. Panda spent most of her time eating in the training pen and exploring the environment in the pen.
Now, the fence training progress has been upgraded and Panda will be released into the training pen for around 3 hours every day to make her feel comfortable in the pen. Once she passes the fence training, she will become an eligible candidate to be released to the forest enclosure in BSBCC.
Text by Natalie Lian Qian Wei (Intern Student, University Science Malaysia)
Photos by Natalie Lian Qian Wei & Chiew Lin May
Enrichment come in the forms of toys or treats for animals. Although it may look like something insignificant, this is not true at all! Enrichment are especially vital for bears that were previously kept as pets and were rescued, as these bears were unable to learn essential survival skills. Enrichment encourage them to exhibit natural bear behaviours, such as climbing, foraging, and digging.
In BSBCC, there are five types of enrichment which are enclosure enrichment, foraging enrichment, sensory enrichment, novel objects, and social enrichment.
Enclosure enrichment are structures that allow for activities such as climbing and resting. In BSBCC, these enrichment are made of materials such as tyres, firehoses, and woods.
Foraging enrichment are food-based enrichment that help to enhance the bears’ foraging skills. Fruits and spice powder can be wrapped in plant materials such as ginger leaves or wrapped in cardboard papers. Peanut butter can be smeared between a few attached sticks.
Sensory enrichment help to sharpen the senses of bears, such as gustation and olfaction
Novel object enrichment provide bears with the opportunity to explore and play with new items.
Social enrichment encourages social interaction between bears. It is good to have friends!
Enrichment are very important as they help to reduce boredom and stress. When the bears are bored or stressed, pacing can be observed and the bears will move in a stereotypic motion. Enrichment can help to keep them occupied and contented.
New ideas of enrichment are always welcomed! Yet, bear in mind that there are also a few factors that need to be taken into consideration. An enrichment must always be safe for the bears, thus we need to avoid sharp objects and toxic plants. To make an enrichment, we must also first observe the behaviour of the bears, so that we know what is suitable for them. For example, wood can be given to bears that have long claws, to encourage them to dig and at the same time help to wear down their claws.
I believe satisfaction can be felt when the bears enjoy the enrichment that we made for them, not forgetting to mention that they look so cute when they are playing or eating! Preparing enrichment is actually a fun activity for the keepers and volunteers too.
Dear readers, I hope you will be able to get an idea of what enrichment are, thank you for reading!
On the 1st to 3rd of August 2019, BSBCC had been invited to World Turtle's Day exhibition at Piazza Harbour Mall Sandakan. The exhibition attended by various government and non-government organizations. With the objective of raising awareness among the public, the three days event was filled with lots of activities such as talks, choral speaking on conservation topic, exhibitions, zumba dance, Q&A sessions with the public and many more. In the end, we hope this program manage to instill awareness among the public to help and supporting the conservation actions to ensure the wildlife or more can be said as our treasure will be lasting forever for the future generation.
BSBCC has been visited by a group of kindergarten students from Taska Rumah Nur (the tour visit was also joined by Taska Rumah Ashikin, Taska Siti Aisyah, Taska Qaseh ILP, and Taska Khalifahku Sayang) consisting of 35 students, accompanied by teachers and also parents. They were exposed to information about sun bear, and seizing the opportunity to see the bears in the forest enclosures. The children were so happy and excited to see the bears all around the forest enclosures. New knowledge was shared to the kids and they really enjoy about it. We hope for more visits like this come as to educate the public about the needs to protect our vulnerable sun bears. #SchoolVisits #EnvironmetalEducation #SaveSunBear #BSBCC
Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin, a.k.a. Kejora Amsyar , Kejora pets, is the most notorious illegal wildlife trader in West Malaysia. Over the past 8 years, he and his team have been trading and selling protected wildlife on social media. Thousands of protected Malaysian wildlife like baby sun bears, baby langurs, baby leopard cats, baby civets, baby gibbons, baby raptors, baby hornbills, baby marble cats, baby flat headed cats, baby owls, baby slow loris, etc. He and his gang are responsible for the deaths of thousands protected wildlife in West Malaysia. Lately he claimed that he has letter from the Malaysian Royal family and the palace to do whatever he wanted to do! If he and his gang continue to do what they have been doing over the past 8 years, soon the Malaysian forest will become an empty forest with standing trees but without wildlife, as all wildlife being poached for pet trade and make Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin and his gang very rich! We urge the wildlife authorities in West Malaysia, Department of Wildlife and National Park, a.k.a., PERHILITAN, together with the Royal Police of Malaysia, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, Bank Negara, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources, and other relevant agencies can investigate the crimes that Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin committed seriously like other human related criminals. In his social media, we can see clearly his full name as Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin. His cell phone number is 019 6643065 and his Maybank account number is 1627 4024 3585 and CIMB Bank account as 7619-2989-70. Eight years are a long time for any syndicate to operate their illegal activities. As Malaysian wildlife numbers are dwindling down at an alarming rate due to deforestation, poaching and illegal wildlife trade and illegal pet keeping, it is time to stop Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin anf his gang from further killing our precious wildlife. Lately, Amsyar Imani has advertised to sell sun bear cub, marble cat and a black panther online! These few individuals have resulted way too much damages to our remaining wildlife population! Please share this post. The voice to save our remaining precious wildlife need to be heard nationally and globally! Several wildlife protectors and wildlife heroes in Malaysia like Bam and Joleen have lodged a police report against the crimes committed by Amsyar Imani Bin Ahmad Zaifuddin. We need your help to do the same! *Share your police report statement (blur away your personal and officer's details) on social media, or send to Bam & Gibbon Protection Society of Malaysia your statement for their database purpose! #TumpaskanKejoraAmsyar #SaveMalaysianWildlife #VoicingTheirSilence #BecauseWeCare #WeFightTogether