If you are reading this blog, you are no doubt a bear lover, an animal lover, a naturalist, a biologist, a conservationist, or just a regular people who care about our nature, wildlife, and mother Earth. You cared, concerned, and I thank you for that.
Now I would like to ask you for a favor. I am not asking you to donate money this time, but I would like to ask you to sign a petition that will help improve our wildlife law in Malaysia. Please read more about this petition at the press release below and sign the petition at www.petitiononline.com/MYLaw/petition. html.
Now I have my own story to tell why this petition is important. I want to show you some photos and tell you the stories of many wildlife were killed and poached because our wildlife law need to be strengthen. By strengthening the law, we hope the awareness and enforcement of these law will be improved and benefit both wildlife and human. I apologize for showing photos but I think we all need to know that this kind brutal killing is happening in this country and it has to be stop by any mean. Although habitat destruction is by far the most important threat to the wildlife in Malaysia, poaching and illegal killing of wildlife can easily wipe out the small local population of the wildlife that are living in the fragmented landscape.
This sun bear carcass was found beside a hiking trail after being freshly slaughtered and only the gall bladder being removed by the poacher. According to the local guide, the poacher sold the gallbladder for about US$100. (Photo: Sue Chong)
Text by Ruben Sario
19th October 2008
KOTA KINABALU: There is hope for a bright future for sun bears in Sabah that are facing extinction. A sanctuary is being set up in Sandakan for the bears.
The state Wildlife Department together with the state Forestry Department and non-governmental organisation Land Empowerment Animals People (Leap) will jointly set up the conservation centre next to the orang utan rehabilitation centre.
Wildlife Department director Laurentius Ambu said the sun bear facility would be the first of its kind in Asia and was aimed at rehabilitation, research and education efforts concerning the animal.
There are already 11 sun bears which the department had seized from various individuals now being kept at Sepilok, he said.
Ambu said that although there were no figures to ascertain the number of sun bears now, wildlife experts were convinced that the mammals would be classified as “endangered” very soon.
“What we do know is that there is a small population of sun bears scattered around the state but their forest habitat is shrinking and they are threatened by poaching,” he told The Star.
Ambu added that the sun bear population worldwide was estimated at about 10,000. A fraction of them are in Sabah.
Leap executive director Cynthia Ong said the organisation and the two departments hoped to get construction of the RM1.2mil sun bear centre going by early next year.
“We are having a fund-raising on Nov 14 at the ShangriLa Tanjung Aru Resort here,” she said. Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman will be among the guests at the event.
For further details about the sun bear conservation centre, call 088-270 705 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Sabah Times
18th October 2008
18th October, 2008 KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife conservation in Sabah gets a boost with the setting up of Asia’s first Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Construction work begins early next year at Sepilok in Sandakan and according to the centre director, Cynthia Ong, if all goes according to plan, it will be completed by the end of 2009.
However, it will require some RM1.2 million to realise the mission and the centre is therefore organising a fundraising dinner event on November 14 to be held at the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort. Dubbed “Bear Necessities” it will bring together heads of government, non-government organisations and corporate leaders with some of Malaysia’s best-known personalities to provide the entertainment.
The celebrities include Daphne Iking, Jit Murad, Lina Teoh, Rafique Rashid, Roger Wang, Elaine Daly, Amir Yussof, Albert Sirimal and Badar. Cynthia said the centre is crucial for the survival of the bears as there is no facility in Sabah to shelter the growing number of bears rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department from captivity or after they have been left orphaned.
“In fact, many people in Sabah don’t know that Borneo is actually home to the world’s smallest bear, the little known Malayan Sun Bear,” she said.
She added that the distribution of the Malayan Sun Bear was originally widespread throughout Southeast Asia, but now Sabah remained as one of the few places in the world where it can still be found.
Sadly, deforestation is pushing this bear to the brink of extinction. At the same time, the bears are also under threat from illegal hunters either for food or medicinal purposes, at times shot to prevent damage to crops and villages and worse, taken by poachers for the pet trade.
“This innovative project aims to provide a holistic approach to the conservation of the Sun Bear, combining improved facilities for captive bears with increased public awareness both at the local and international levels".
“Perhaps most importantly, they can be released back into the wild after being rehabilitated,” she said. State Wildlife Department director, Laurentius Ambu said that without the centre, the Bornean Sun Bear would probably be extinct in 30 years’ time. He said that the worldwide sun bear population is estimated to be around 10,000 and that it was in danger because of forest fragmentation and loss of habitat. It is also widely sought for its gallbladder thought to have medicinal value and can even be found sold at markets such as the Gaya Street in Kota Kinabalu, he said.
He warned that the Bornean sun bear is a protected species and those found in possession with one could face imprisonment. Meanwhile, tables for the event are priced at RM50,000 (10 tables); RM30,000 (10 tables); RM20,000 (10 tables) and RM10,000 (20 tables).
For more information on the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre or the Bear Necessities Event, please contact: 088-270705 email@example.com via email.