It has been quite busy the last few months for BSBCC. We received visits from lots of schools and organizations, and some of them even fell on the same day! The groups were usually given presentations and talks about the centre and our efforts in conserving the Sun Bears, detailed Sun Bear introductions, briefings on the Do's and Don’ts during their visits, and mini activities to reinforce the information, especially for younger school children. The visit usually ends with a tour to the platform to observe the rescued bears in their natural forest enclosures.
Among the visitors were high officials of Genting Holdings Sdn Bhd. (above)
Another visit was from Politeknik Sandakan, in which they carried out a Corporate Social Responsibility work to do minor maintenance at the centre as they enjoyed watching the sun bears with their amusing behaviours.
Visit from a primary school, SK Batu Putih, Sandakan. Beside of the three visiting group shown above, the following table shows the other visiting groups to BSBCC in September and October of 2018:
On 26th and 29th October 2018, as the last outreach visit for year 2018, BSBCC with cooperation of Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Program (HUTAN-KOCP) successfully carried out a visit to SK Pekan Pensiangan K9 and SK Salinatan in the Pensiangan district simultaneously with the Community Programme with Chief Justice of Malaysia, YAA Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum in which the program took place at Pekan Pensiangan.
The whole programme involved several agencies such as National Anti Drug Agency, Ministry of Health, Sabah Mobile Court and many more starting from 26th of November until 27th of November 2018. Subsequently after SK Pekan Pensiangan K9 education programme on 26th of November, on 28th of November, the participating organizations visited SK Salinatan for community talk with representatives from each organizations, followed by activities for students on the next day (29th November 2018).
The whole programme included talks to both the students ranging from preschool students, primary school students, lower secondary students at SK Pensiangan K9 and also the community members. In addition, interactive games among the students and also exhibitions were also carried out to enhance the effectiveness of the program. As a remote rural area in the deep forested area in Sabah, the students and communities at Pensiangan district have the need to have awareness program that focusing on conservation awareness especially on wildlife conservation.
It is always hoped that the program may positively impacted the students and communities in which it will help us to continuously preserving and conserving our wildlife especially in Sabah. We gladly thank all the participants in this program for their cooperation and looking forward for any future cooperation.
An outreach programme was carried out at the IOI UNICO Plantation, Lahad Datu region on 2nd and 3rd of September 2018. The programme was organized by IOI UNICO and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC) in partnership with BSBCC, Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP). The programme aims to raise awareness regarding protected wildlife in Sabah, especially orangutans among plantation communities. Activities carried out highlighted guidelines when encountering orangutans, lists of protected wildlife in Sabah, and the importance of conserving the environment. This was also a great opportunity to share BSBCC's work in Sun Bear conservation with estate managers and workers and stress why it is important to conserve Sun Bears. A Sun Bear introduction activity with school children within the plantation was also carried out. A total of 116 plantation managers and workers as well as more than 250 school children participated in the programme.
Meanwhile, on 12th September 2018, our Environmental Education Unit team visited Politeknik Sandakan, a government tertiary institution located four miles from our centre. The targeted students for the mini programme were from the Nature Club. The programme included a Sun Bear talk, quizzes, and a video show. We were pleased to see that the students really enjoyed the programme and showed their eagerness by asking a lot of questions about Sun Bears. Our huge thanks to Madam Joanna, head of Nature Club Politeknik for the invitation.
Other than that, there were more schools visited by BSBCC. The list are as the following below:
Daily Express. 30th October 2018.
By Chiew Lin May
Are sun bears threatened?
Their existence is being fast disappearing who threatened by illegal poaching, pet trade and loss of habitat! Please do something about it!
A group of academicians from the Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) visited BSBCC on 22nd of September 2018. The group also included a delegation from University of Tokushima, Japan, with 3 professors, 4 undergraduate students and 3 farmers who came to Sandakan for the International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture (ICSA) that same week. The group was guided by the founder and the CEO of BSBCC himself, Dr. Wong Siew Te who provided an informative tour on the platform while offering guests the opportunity to observe Sun Bears in their natural forest enclosures.
On 19th of October 2018, BSBCC was once again visited by a group from the Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture at UMS, and this time the group consisted of undergraduate students and lecturers. The students and lecturers were able to observe the Sun Bears in the forest enclosures and also were given an informative talk about the centre and on Sun Bears by Ms. Gloria and Dr. Wong Siew Te. It is hoped that there will be more cooperation in the future between UMS and BSBCC in efforts to conserve Sun Bears. Many thanks to UMS Sandakan for the visits to our centre.
On the 15th to 18th of October 2018 ago, BSBCC organized an outreach program to four schools in the Sandakan District. The schools were SK Sakilan Desa, SK Rancangan Lubuh, SK Sibugal Besar and SK Muhibbah. Several organizations also cooperated with BSBCC in this outreach program. The organizations are Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Program (HUTAN-KOCP), Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC), Sandakan Borneo Bird Club and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
Just like the previous outreaches, this program aims to educate and to expose the students and teachers to the conservation of wildlife and nature. Each of the organizers put emphasize on their respective field of study such as on orangutan, sun bear, dipterocarp trees, pangolin, birds and many more on their talk and activities such as coloring competitions, exhibitions and games. We positively expecting that this program may inspire more future defenders and protectors of the wildlife to join our cause and spreading the words in order to create a better world for our wildlife and nature.
Big thanks to all the involving schools and participating organizations!
Text by Seng Yen Wah
Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
Bintang was originally known as Ronnie, named after her previous owner who surrendered the bear to the BSBCC on July 15, 2014. Bintang was just a five months old female sun bear cub and weighed 7.9kg when she arrived in BSBCC. Her history is unknown. Owners who find Sun bear cubs will attempt to reason for holding them captive, but no explanation is suitable for the holding of a wild animal. Keeping a wild animal as a pet, such as the Sun bear, is illegal. In 2017, this bear was renamed to “Bintang” when Albert Teo Chin Kion and Borneo Eco Tour Sdn Bhd, both passionate enthusiasts into changing a sun bear’s life, adopted Bintang. Another reason for changing the name to “Bintang” is because her chest mark appears as a sun-shape, sprinkled with light black dots. “Bintang” is a beautiful name which incorporates the Malaysian meaning of “star” to represent her unique chest pattern.
Rescued at such a young age, Bintang spent little time of her cub life alongside her Mother; sun bear cub should remain with their Mother until two/three years old, when living in their natural habitat. The individuals who separated Bintang from her Mother, weakened her chances for survival as she was unable to learn valuable life skills from a young age. Therefore, BSBCC needs to take good care of her and teach her how to be a real bear again. She has been offered lots of fruits such as durian, mangosteen, tarap, rambutan and many more. Other than that, in order to encourage her natural bear behaviour, lots of enrichments are made and given to her. She shows her improvement day by day.
Sunbearo, Loki and Bintang are integrated in quarantine. She met her bear brother, Sunbearo and her bear sister, Loki within this time and all were getting along extremely well. They spend time playing fighting, suckling for comfort seeking, resting and sleeping together. Bintang’s suckling style is different to others; her paw will be placed on one of the friend, whilst suckling.
On 22 November 2015, Sunbearo, Loki and Bintang integrated with Montom and Susie2 and then Damai. On 24 December 2015, they were released to the forest enclosure. They were foraging together and found some bugs, ants and termites but they didn’t seem too interested in climbing. Loki was the first to climb. After being anxious on the first day, Bintang and Sunbearo both started to climb across the following few days, which made them fall in love with climbing. In 2016, the bears integrated with Kala, Mary, Boboi, Kitud, and Tan Tan, as well as Dodop and Wawa. There was no signs of aggression between them. Bintang is very friendly to all the bears, but Damai is her best bear friend ever! Bintang loves to spend time with her bear friend, to play fight, rest and just hang out together in the forest enclosure.
Bintang is a very kind-natured and gentle sun bear. She does not mind being dirty an actually loves digging and tearing up the dead wood across the forest enclosure. She enjoys her nap time and snoozing on her favourite tree. Bintang is an excellent ground nest builder. She tries to grab as many big leaves from the trees and arranges it nicely on the ground. She will continue to build even if her friends try to interrupt her, with a lot of determination to have a nice comfy nest to rest on afterwards.
Bintang is showing excellent survival skills in the forest every day. We hope that soon she will be one of the next candidates for releasing back into the wild. She deserves to stay in the wild and be a WILD bear once again!
Video by Chiew Lin May
Red ants treat is really quite yummy!!
CLICK HERE to catch a glimpse of Little Romolina enjoying her favourite meal.
In conjunction with AirAsia Macau's (MFM) launching of a direct flight to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) in November 2018, Sabah Tourism is working with AirAsia to bring in two famous bloggers from Hong Kong to Sabah for a FAM (or familiarization) trip from 8th to 13th October 2018. This group consists of two bloggers, two blogger’s assistants, and one AirAsia representative.
As a part of AirAsia Hong Kong's and Macau Media's FAM Trip to Sabah, BSBCC was chosen as one of their destinations for exploration in Sandakan. We were delighted to receive the visit from bloggers of 云吞叫埋鸡 on 9th of October 2018. We hope they enjoyed watching the Sun Bears in their natural enclosures, while helping us to promote our centre to people of HK and Macau!