BSBCC received another visit from 50 kindergarten students, accompanying teachers and parents of Pra SK Kota Kinabatangan today. The students were first briefed on the safety rules before divided into two groups, lead by Mdm Gloria and Ms Melynda to the bear observation platforms. Guided tour was also given to the group with the help of information boards alongside our centre's boardwalk. The group seems to be very happy to be able to see sun bears in their forest enclosures and quite eager to learn about them too. Thanks again for choosing BSBCC for your kindergarten visit! #EnvironmentalEducation #BSBCC #PraSKKotaKinabatangan #visit
Today BSBCC was visited by a group of 3-5 years old children accompanied by their teachers from a childcare centre called as the Pusat Jagaan Selawat Nabi, Sandakan. The children, consisting of orphans and zakat (alms) recipients were taken to listen to a talk about the sun bears and subsequently observing the bears in the enclosures. It is a short visit but meaningful after all; the children were filled with excitement to watch the bears roaming and doing their activities in the enclosures. Thanks for the visit, Pusat Jagaan Selawat Nabi, Sandakan.
Video by Chiew Lin May
Logan is getting very curious about the wild world around him. He found an Asian box turtle carcass and took great joy in ripping open it. He loving every minute of it!
It was a warm but cloudy day when a group of 70 students and 2 accompanying teachers from MARA Junior Science College [Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)] of Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens, Sandakan came to BSBCC today (6th November 2019) for their school trip. The group was divided into two teams, each lead by our Environmental Education staff: Mr. Haniff and Ms. Melynda. The group was given informative presentation and guided tour to observation platforms, before all gathers at the BSBCC garden area for group photo. We hope they had a great time here, observing and learning about the Sun Bears. It is hope that they will help us to spread the words by sharing their experiences with friends and family. Thanks again for choosing us for the visit! #EnvironmentalEducation #BSBCC #MRSM #Sepilok #Sandakan #SchoolVisit
Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by BSBCC & Chiew Lin May
I was still an infant when I arrived at the local mini zoo in 2008. I was found in Tawau district of Sabah and was later sent to Kudat district, in the northern part of Sabah.
My friend and I were displayed in a mini zoo as panda bears, but instead we are Bornean Sun Bears.
The reason behind this was to attract visitors or inexperienced animal managers, who apparently did not have the knowledge or skills to care for the animals that they received, which could be why we were mistaken as species we are not.
We were fed with chicken daily which led us to have bigger body sizes compared to other sun bears our age.
My suffering ended when I was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department on the 6th of July 2010, and was brought to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) on the 10th of July, 2010.
During the arrival, no external wounds were found on me, except my friend, Kudat showed his fur coat had multiple alopecic patches. We were both placed into Quarantine.
On the 8th of August 2010, after I completed my 30 day quarantine period, I was growing well and I was then a ten year old, adult female sun bear.
I have beautiful mauve-coloured eyes. I started to enjoy the delights on offer in this new environment.
Rescued sun bears at BSBCC are given a second chance to live freely in the BSBCC forest - free to explore, forage, climb and play as wild sun bears.
On the 20th of December 2013, I was undergoing fence training, which is one of the BSBCC’s rehabilitation processes that is before the bears can go out to the forest enclosure.
This stage is very important because the BSBCC forest enclosures are surrounded by electric fences that prevent the bears from escaping. However, up until now this fence training had not worked with me due to the fact that I still bared the scars from years of trauma after being locked up in a cage for entertainment purposes.
The bear care staff never gave up on me by trying to introduce me with new bear friends (Natalie, Ah Lun, Julaini and Rungus), to help improve my social and survival skills, and gain trust towards these rehabilitation processes.
It would take time for me to learn to trust the outside forest world.
On May 20th 2014, I had a traumatic injury on the rostral area due to an aggressive bite from a male, adult bear in the neighbouring cage.
Thank you to Veterinarian, Dr. Laura who helped me by reconstructing suture of the tissue on my rostral area. The bear staff kept a close watch on me and took care of my diet. Slowly, my snout improved.
On the 1st of July 2015, I was moved to another cage near Amaco (the oldest bear). I loved having these new dens to explore. I loved splashing in the water and taking lots of baths in the dens.
BSBCC provide the best care for all the rescued sun bears in our Centre, different enrichment activities are given by bear care staff in order to stimulate our natural behaviour and keep us occupied.
I am a big foodie and enjoy the bear’s main diet of fruit, coconut and HONEY!
I am very inquisitive and am always quick to come whenever there are YUMMY treats. There are different types of climbing structures and I take great joy in climbing them. I love the opportunity to play with a number of toys. I will figure out a toy by tapping on them with my superb sharp-curved, long claws and by checking them carefully. We love volunteers designing comfy bed for us!! It brightens our day!
My best friend is Amaco who is a male bear. The integration has really enriched my life.
Most important is that I am the first play pal for him. I am very sweet towards him so we love playing together. We are playing and wrestling non-stop. We share a very close bond and can be seen hanging out together.
However, I am sorry that I do not get along well with Chin, as sometimes she will get feisty if I wrestle with her which will end up in small brawls during play fights.
This year something has changed my life! With the help from our lovely volunteer, Khairunnisa Faisal and keeper, Adrian. Here I started to put my past behind me and recover from my traumatic years in captivity. A huge smile crossed my face as I received the life that I deserve!! I was finally brave enough to take my first step out to the forest after five years of training. I love to explore the grassy forest enclosure, forage for my favourite termites and rest in the hammock. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try learning as a wild bear!
BSBCC are delighted I have been able to let go of the previous trauma in my life.
I have overcome my fear and feel completely at home! Sun bears are classified as a Totally Protected Species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment, 1997. Please STOP keeping sun bears as pets! We DO NOT belong inside cages. Years of being kept as illegal pets have left many of us suffering from long term disabilities and physiological trauma. It requires considerable time and expense to restore the wild behaviour to us that have been victims of the illegal wildlife pet trade. If you care about us, you would not want to be left out of the fight for our survival. Please be our voice!
Video by Chiew Lin May
Kala was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade as a cub, she was found emaciated, dehydrated and forget the skills she needs as a wild bear.
After four years undergoes rehabilitation in BSBCC, Kala is now a healthy and sweet-nature bear who loves her freedom in the forest!
Yesterday on the 2nd of November 2019, BSBCC received another group visit from Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture (FSA) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Sandakan. The group consists of 26 Third Year students and a lecturer was briefed about the sun bears before been guided to viewing platform. The group has been here before; their last visit was on planting ornamental plants around the pathway in BSBCC. Seems they are planning to do some more works here at BSBCC, and we gladly open for that. Thank you FSA, UMS for the visit.