Photos credit: Colleen Tan
Very cute sun bear baby's photos.
Yes, Fulung the sun bear cub is VERY cute!
NO! You cannot keep a sun bear baby as pet! Please report to the authority if you see any illegal sun bears being kept as pets.
In early August I was informed that there was a sun bear baby being kept as a pet by a villager in Long Pasir, a remote small village located at southern most Sabah, close to the Sarawak boarder. After several phone calls, I was managed to communicate with Colleen Tan, a tourism coordinator for Long Pasir who visited the village on a regular basis. From her conversation and emails, I got to know the story of Fulung a lot better. Here is what Colleen wrote to me about Fulung the sun bear cub:
"An interesting story about a male sun bear from Long Pasia named FULUNG (Lundayeh Language) which mean "hutan" in Malay or forest. Last year 01 December 2010, I was there at the homestay first saw the baby sun bear (age 2 months) I was told that the sun bear was rescued from the hunting dog in the Long Pasia jungle. The baby sun bear was seriously injured. The hunter brought back to home and feed it, care it, maybe they use traditional medicine, until recovery today, as you can see from the photos i took & attached herewith.
The baby sun bear is very cute and roar at midnight, morning, afternoon & evening for milk, During his 3 months, can run and chase people in the family and very naughty. Not always in the cage but free to run outside in the house, play, and bath. It roars at stranger (visitor) for a while but then friendly. It seem that he knew the family member. The family called him FULUNG he recognized :-)
During my visit to Long Pasia in January, February & May 2011, I took many photos of FULUNG. The sun bear is growing bigger and bigger and need more food. He will complaint if the porridge mixed with normal water and no sugar added in. He wanted rice + warm water + sugar, just like honey rice. They feed the baby sun bear with Dutch Lady & Nespray powder milk, banana, rice + warm water + sugar. I gave him mandarin orange and feed him banana. He plays the ball and sleep well and roar again when hungry. What a cute sun bear, living happily with the family?! But still belong to the forest.
The family wanted to put back to the forest after few months but think of him will be back to home looking for them, and worried about others hunter, so they decided to treat him as a pet for the time being. Although other visitor offer to buy the sun bear for what purpose I don't know, but the family don't want to sell, worried if the sun bear being killed for certain part of the body."
To be continue...
Again, YOU CANNOT KEEP A SUN BEAR AS PET!
SUN BEARS ARE PROTECTED BY LAW IN ALL RANGE COUNTRIES. KEEPING SUN BEARS AS PETS IS A SERIOUS OFFENCE. YOU WILL BE FINE, IMPRESSION, AND CANE IF YOU DO SO!
It is time for an annual health check for the sun bears in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. On October 7th and 8th, Dr Diana Ramirez from Wildlife Rescue Unit, Sabah Wildlife Department performed a general health check on 8 of our bears- Susie, Keningau, Takob, Manis, Cerah, Jelita, Lawa and Om. This health check is a routine annual medical checkup for all of our bears to assess health, potential sickness, function of the internal organs, and physical condition.
During the checking, the bears were first being sedated with sedative so that we can handle them safely. Once they were unconscious, Dr Diana took blood samples, give deworming and multivitamin injections, while Elis (senior ranger of SORC), Wai Pak, Roshan and me were busy monitoring TPR (temperatures, pulse rate, and respiration rate), taking body measurements and photos, colleting hair samples (for future DNA studies). This was also a good opportunity to show Roshan, who will start his MSc project studying wild sun bear next year, on the procedures of handling and taking data on the wild sun bear in the future.
The checking and handling procedures went smoothly without any complication. The team took about 30 minutes to complete all the tasks. After that, the sedated bears were placed in their den to recover from the sedative, which usually took an hour or less. We will conduct the medical check on more of our bears in the coming week. Thanks for the hard work for all staff and especially Dr Diana! Gracias!
Sun bears are the smallest among the 8 living bear species. However, relative to their small size, their canines are largest among these bear species. Here is a close up photo of the canines from Om, a 6 year male sun bear in his prime age. Note the lower right canine was broken. Wild sun bear usually suffered from broken or chipped canines as a result of biting and breaking into hard wood to find bee nest.
By Siew Te Wong
When others asked me what can they do to help sun bears, "Do what you do best!" is always my reply.
My 4th elder sister, Wong Siew Lee, a mother of 4 children, is also a talented and determined artist. She does what she does best to help sun bear - with her ART!
Since I started to set up the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre as a non-profit to conserve sun bears, she has volunteered her time and efforts to help us. Three years ago she donated a painting for auction during our Bear Necessities' Fundraiser Event to raise fund to build our new bear house and forest enclosure.
Lately she produced two pieces of artwork for BSBCC: "We need your help!" and "www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org".
Below are the statements and concepts of the two artworks in her own words:
To highlight the plight of Asia’s most threatened species in Borneo, the little known sun bear (Helarctos malayanus).
To realize that there are other creatures sharing our Earth, while we create a sanctuary for our own comfortable lives. We humans, as the most destructive beings, should respect other life form too, as they have an as much of a right to live on this Earth as we do.
Artwork I: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Mixed media on canvas
(stencils, silkscreen, woodcut, stamping, aerosol paint, transfer, collage of object prints, acrylic)
122cm x 90 cm
Artwork I: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
SOS from Borneo to the world loud and clear, “ WE NEED YOUR HELP!”.
The rainforest is such a rich habitat for various flora and fauna. On the background, I used brightly coloured leaves (silk screen), transfer of rainforest scenery, acrylic print of leaves (collage of object print) to portray the beauty of the natural rainforest, the home to the world’s smallest bear species. Then comes the captured skinny cub asking for help (transfer and stencil) and the BSBCC logo (transfer), the sun bear’s rescuer. For the main sun bear cub character, the strong contrast of black and white woodcut, which illustrates its outstanding character and captures the focus. A cute image, the sun bear cub is such an adorable creature. That’s why clever businessmen use images of cute bear-bears on children’s T-shirts, toys, cartoons and story books. Little do we realize and educate our children of the pitiful plight of the Sunbear in our country.
After the background layer was done, I put some string (stencil) on top of the canvas and sprayed them with aerosol. The brown mist creates a haunting mood besides bringing out the image of a net, which is used to capture the sun bear for unscrupulous reasons.
Artwork II: www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org
mixed media on board
(cast paper dimensional print, stencils, aerosol paint, transfer, collage of object prints and wood)
122cm x 90 cm
Artwork II: www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org
The fact shows that > 30 percent of sun bear population has declined in the last 30 years. The primary reasons for such declined is due to extensive habitat loss are illegal timber extraction for hardwoods and the clearing and conversion of habitat for plantations. Human destruction of the natural environment has pushed the survival of sun bears to the brink. On top of that sun bears are captured for the illegal pet trade or for their commercial value.
In this artwork, a bear appears in a window of a man’s dwelling. This is abnormal as it is not their natural habitat. The reason is: this bear has been captured. The window is constructed of cast paper from a mould (dimensional cast paper print).
The shape of a tree is cut away from the board and is a metaphor for the disappearing forest. It leaves behind, in agony, fallen dried leaves (acrylic object print); the sad traces of once a prosperous rainforest.
The website of www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org is the message I would like to convey. Please access the website, educate our children and find out more about our Bornean Sun bear.
Siew Lee is having her very own solo art show starting Sept. 5th until Sept. 30th. Venue at:
Main Lobby, Balai Berita,
New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad,
31, Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur.
Theme: A Matter of Mind
My 3rd elder brother Wong Siew Kok wrote a forward in the handbook of the art show:
Artists are the conscience of society.
Welcome to ‘A Matter of Mind’, a solo exhibition of the artworks of the exciting artist Siew Lee!
To create her art, Siew Lee is first an observer, who sees, with heart, soul and mind. Then she is a thinker – who reflects on her observations, her values, and the larger complexity of life and reality, and synthesizes new thoughts from them. These new thoughts become objects of the mind, which she gives form to, with her choice of art materials and techniques, to become artworks that speak to us.
Siew Lee’s subjects are extensive, covering the sensory experience of being alive and expressing it in colors and emotions, exploring mysticism with religious iconography, giving voice to the Rakyat in political art, presenting our world and her perceptions with an interesting interplay of thought, form, colors and creativity.
Siew Lee’s works are a delight to view, and worth the while to linger on; try to find the thought behind the artwork you see, the thought -- ‘the object of the mind’ -- that is embedded in the work, invisible to the eye, but visible to the mind.
Siew Lee has exhibited in Europe, Britain, Japan and Malaysia, and her works have been collected by public and private collectors as well, both here and abroad.
I hope you enjoy the show and that it will be an experience for both your eyes and mind!
August 7, 2011
Thank you sis! WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SAVE SUN BEARS!
Please visit Siew Lee's website to learn more about her art: http://siewlee.net/ and the Solo Art Exhibition Handbook and catalogue http://siewlee.net/images/siewleeSoloExhibit-Sept2011-KL.pdf
After 4 years of idea developing, planning, and more than 3 years of hard working from many people, I am proud to present you the sun bears that we rescued at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre!
Although not all of our bears are in the forest enclosures, we are working hard to train them so that they can adapt their new life in the forest enclosures soon. These sun bears feed a lot on natural food items such as termites, and ants, in the forest enclosures. Both sightings and scat analysis conformed this observation.
Today I have a great day seeing Cerah, Jelita, and Lawa the sun bears destroying decayed wood to feed on termites, climbing on tree to feed on ants, and digging on soil but do not know what they were after. What I know that they were having a lot of fun, chasing and playing with each other in the dense forest floor!
Thanks to you all and your kind support;
Thanks to all the Bear Action Team volunteers who help us built this and built that;
Thanks to all the husbandry volunteers who help us clean cages, prepare bear food, make enrichments, and take good care of our bears;
Thanks to all the BSBCC staff, especially Wai Pak, and all the LEAP team, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre team, for making the life of our bears better;
Thanks to Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department, and LEAP to be the partners of this project;
WE DID IT BECAUSE OF YOU!
Finally, thanks to Peter Yuen for helping us took these photos of our bears in the forest enclosure.
Now everyone can see sun bears in the forest!
You can read more Peter's Yuen photography work and support BSBCC by buying these photos online:
~ Siew Te Wong, Founder and CEO, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre