Today, the BSBCC were glad to welcome group visits from 2 different schools. The first school is SK Mostyn, Kunak which came early in the morning. This time, the students was given presentation about Sun Bear by our Environmental Education Officer, after the presentation they were required to answer sets of questions in the Sun Bear Explorer Book. They obtained the answers from the signboards along the boardwalk. Through this activity, the students were encouraged to make critical thinking and were able to understand better about sun bears and its environment. At the end of the activity, the answers were discussed together. At 11 am nearly afternoon, another group from SK Paris 3, Kinabatangan came to visit our centre. Due to limited time, they didn't do the Sun Bear Explorer activity but instead they were given short briefings and brought for tour at the observation platforms. The BSBCC are very happy to see more young people learning about the Mother Nature. Thank you for visiting our Centre!
On the 29th September 2017, BSBCC was invited to SJK (C) Chi Hwa, Sandakan to set up an educational booth during their sports carnival. Besides BSBCC, other organizations and local companies in Sandakan such as WWF, Rainforest Discovery Centre, Artlex Centre, Maybank, and a few more were also invited to participated in this event. During this carnival, all of the students, teachers and parents have the chance to visit all the booths from participating organizations and companies. There were also activities held in each booth such as answering quizzes. All of the students enjoyed in this carnival and we hope that they learned more about sun bears today!
BSBCC was invited to do an awareness programme on sun bear in Dorcas Kindergarten Sandakan. 158 students were involved in this programme. The students and teachers got excited to learn about the sun bears. The programme started with a short briefing about the awareness programme and video show about sun bear. After the video show, BSBCC team conducted a wildlife game for the students. Our sun bear mascot, Sunny was also present to help the students understand better about physical characters of a sun bear. We also set up display booth at the school. All of the students enjoyed their time learning about the environment and wildlife species through exhibitions. We hope that they can gain more knowledge on the importance of protecting the environment and our precious wildlife species.
Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by Seng Yen Wah & Chiew Lin May
The sad part of each rescued orphan sun bear that arrive at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is that they come from having lived through a bitter past. As sun bears grow into fully grown adult, they become dangerous and difficult to handle which will end up their lives in a tiny cage or seeking out sun bear rehabilitation centre to take their sun bear pet in.
This is what happens to our recently rescued a three years old sub adult female bear, Soo (Rescued bear No.56). It was so shock when we received a video showing that the person was playing with this bear (who is fully grown bear). She was purchased from Karamatoi village in Sook Keningau market when she was still cub and kept as a pet by a family in Nambayan village in Tambunan, located in the interior Division of Sabah for almost three years. She was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department and she arrives at BSBCC on 8th September 2017. Soo was fed with rice, cucumber and milk. Undoubtedly her mother had been killed; she is sold illegally throughout Borneo and kept in private home. Sadly many of these orphaned sun bears will never fully learn their natural way of life and lose their ability to survive in the wild.
During the arrival, Soo shows a sorrow face and traumatized. This made her keep alert. She must have been going through traumatizing experience for her. You can feel how this disgusting the pet trade is! Often these rescued sun bears take a long recovery road from the trauma of losing their mom in such a horrific way. They often suffer from physically health issues, malnutrition and poor treatment during her pet trade time.
Luckily for Soo, the Sabah Wildlife Department rescued her and she has been given second chance to survive as a wild bear. She has to go through a quarantine process for 30 days to determine her health status. On 10th September 2017 she received a health check. Dr. Pakeeyaraj Nagalinggam from Wildlife Rescue Unit, Sabah Wildlife Department performed a general health check. These include an assessment of her overall health, function of the internal organs and physical condition and potential sickness. Her weighs was 25.70kg.The blood tests result has shown she is in good health and bright bear.
At the BSBCC, Soo will receive intensive care. The most important first step is to make sure Soo is settled in this new environment. Till now she still avoids to explore new surroundings. Soo was introducing to new correct diet and enrichment to ensure she is growing healthy. But Soo only will explore the enrichment and treats on night time where the surrounding area was quiet. She will quickly move away after detecting our presence. Soo spent the majority of her time and feel safe by staying high up on cage. She is now an orphan and needs much love and care to grow into a trust and confident beautiful sun bear.
We are delighted to welcome Soo to our sun bear family! Soo has a long journey ahead of her in going through rehabilitation until she returns to the wild again. It is illegal to keep sun bears as pets! Please remember the consequences of keeping one as a pet and give them promise of HOPE! We hope to see Soo can be thriving and adapting well to her new home. She has to find the life of a free bear. We will be monitoring to see how she progresses over the coming months at quarantine.
Text by Batrisyia Binti Teepol
Photos by Seng Yen Wah, Chiew Lin May & Batrisyia Binti Teepol
Hi, I'm Batrisyia, I’m 21 years old and I was born and raised in Miri, Sarawak. By the time I'm writing this story, I'm about to enter my final year in Animal Resource Science and Management in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Applying as an intern in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is definitely a random process that turns out to be the best 10 weeks of my life. I think I was blessed and lucky enough to be given the opportunity to complete my internship in BSBCC.
First off, the centre itself is definitely well planned, from facilities to everyday tasks. Having the forest enclosures for the bears are definitely a bonus for this centre.
The run down to my everyday job is mostly animal husbandry which includes cleaning the cages, preparing food, feeding, making enrichments, fence checking, etc. Honestly, the jobs are quite physical but somehow I definitely enjoyed doing them. I think the most memorable time would have to be when we were looking for termite's nest (and made a quick stop getting ourselves wet), random maintenance works, and so much more. Dr. Wong also taught us a lot during our weekly volunteer session and I definitely gained so much input (forever grateful). Here in the centre I was exposed to a lot of new things, from hand sawing to visiting schools for outreach. Basically my communication skills and other soft skills definitely received an upgrade thanks to the opportunities I was given. The best part of my internship was probably the part where I was assigned to observe Nano and Noah for their integration with other bears. I am now even more intrigued in learning about bears (especially the smallest bear species)!
The bears, I can’t fathom how lucky I am to be able to learn about them, care for them and basically just being able to look at them. I personally think sun bears are beautiful and I do hope these rescued bears will be able to feel and enjoy the nature of their home, the forest.
All of the staffs here especially the ones in Bear Care Team are people that have touched my heart. Their sincerity and passion in helping the sun bears are definitely to be acknowledged. Working in conservation is a hard task but what I saw from working with them for the past 10 weeks was that they are all full of love and joy. Despite working so hard during the day, every day on the way back, everyone will always be full of laughter and happiness.
Thank you for all your guidance, help, mentor, kindness, hospitality, jokes, laughter, opportunities, love, and all of your presences. You all are beyond amazing! So much memories were made thus some more pictures to reminisce the time.
Today, 24th September 2017, we were very honored to welcome a visit from Mr. Stefan Priesner, the UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia and UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam. He was accompanied by Ms Gan Pek Chuan, Programme Manager for UNDP Malaysia. They were brought for a tour around our Centre, observing the sun bears in the forest enclosure. Thank you very much for spending the time to visit BSBCC and we hope that they enjoyed to see the bears and on the same time learning about our efforts in sun bears conservation.
A school group from SK Sungai Tiram, Sandakan visited BSBCC on the 21st September 2017. During their visit, we assigned the students to answer a set of questions about sun bears in the Sun Bear Explorer Book and on the the same time they enjoyed to watch the sun bears activities in the forest enclosure. Through this activity, they were able to learn and understand better about sun bears! Thank you for visiting our Centre!
BSBCC was honored to welcome the visit of the Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister Office, YB Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif, his wife YBhg. Datin Lenny Musa and delegates to the Centre. We hope everyone had a wonderful time observing the sun bears in the forest enclosure and learning about BSBCC's efforts in sun bear conservation in Sabah. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank YBhg. Datin Lenny Musa for adopting Kudat, one of the adult male sun bears at the Centre.
On the 19th of September 2017, BSBCC was invited to SK Kepangian, Ranau to organize a Wildlife Awareness Programme. It is about 4 and half hours drive to this school from Sandakan district. This school is one of the rural schools in Ranau district with 13 teachers and 107 students ranging from 7 to 12 years old. A lot of activities were held during the programme such as talks, video show, wildlife games, wildlife colouring activity and visit to exhibition booths. Besides BSBCC, our partners which were the Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and Hutan - Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Programme (KOCP) also joined us. Huge thanks to SK Kepangian, Ranau for inviting us to their school and also to our partners, thank you for the continuous support! We were really glad to see the students learning more about the Mother Nature.
KINABATANGAN, 19th September 2017: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) was invited to attend an event at SMK Sukau, Kinabatangan, a high school in Kinabatangan district which is about 2 hours drive from Sepilok, Sandakan.
In conjunction with the launching and closing ceremony of the Malaysia's Independence month, we were invited to the school and our education team set up an educational booth for the students and teachers to visit. It was also their Co-curriculum Carnival on that day. Besides BSBCC, other organizations also participated in this event.