Have a question or comment? We welcome all enquiries, so please get in touch from any of the methods below:
Text by Ng Wei Ling
Photos by Ng Wei Ling, Mohd Salffazryean Suban Abdullah & Seng Yen Wah
Hello, I have always wanted to have a volunteer experience since I was little but never got the chance. Coming to BSBCC is my first volunteer experience and it turns out to be really great! When I first arrived at Björn Hala, it looks scary for me because I arrived at night and Björn Hala looks like a haunted wooden house without any lights. In fact, it held the warmest memories during my time there and the dogs there are such a good companion especially at night for a toilet trip.
For a city girl like me, it was really difficult to work in the forest with all the small animals like leaches, spiders and centipede and also a lot of insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants and many more weird looking insects which I do not know the name. I almost gave up after volunteering for a week but I am grateful that I did not. As I progressed through, I have gain knowledge and understanding towards wild life conservation and its challenges. The sad truth is that poaching is still happening not just in Malaysia but all around the world and there is no telling how long those rehabilitated bears could survive in the wild despite being trained and evaluated fit for the wild. On the other hand, human development (industrial and residential development) is not going to stop and there are not enough forest reserves left to release the bears. I can only hope that one day human and wildlife can co-exist.
So, before that, we do what we can to conserve. In the bear house, we prioritize the welfare of the bears. The routine work at the bear house in the morning is cleaning bear cages while after lunch we will make enrichment for the bears. I have learned to make some small enrichment but I prefer to build structure enrichment because small enrichment will have to deal with a lot of ants.
Whilst, structure enrichment is more exciting as it involved cutting, sawing, and drilling. Considering it as a life skill?
So, when I was asked to make an enrichment, I came up with an idea of building structure enrichment. I was not sure if the bears will like it but I got a lot of guidance from my buddy, David, and he also suggested to give it to Chin the bear. I was so glad that Chin like it and actually play with it.
Finally, I really appreciate and am thankful for the time that I have spent here working with bears and also all the bear house staffs who made my first volunteering experience amazing! At the end of my volunteering time, all the struggles was nothing when compared to the positive values and experiences that I have gained.