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Text By Seng Yen Wah
Photos By Tee Thye Lim, Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
On the 18th of September 2018, a human-bear conflict report was made by a village known as Abai, situated at the Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Borneo. The report was about a Wild Sun Bear who entered into a house’s kitchen looking for food. The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) with the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) decided to take action and investigated this case.
In order to protect the humans in the village as well as the bears, a bear trap was set. The bear entered the trap on the same day at 11 pm. The bear was darted and a body check-up was carried out on site by Dr.Nabila, a veterinarian from SWD. The bear is male, who weighed 39.6kg. An open wound was found on his left front leg. Four of his paws were found cracked and roughed. Due to his health condition, he was transferred to Sepilok for further treatment before relocating to another site.
The bear is named as ES because he has been found at the village just 300m away from the ESCOM base camp. He was then renamed as Ace and marked as the 59th bear to have been rescued by BSBCC. Ace was staying in quarantine whilst his health improved and keepers were monitoring him closely. A full body check-up was conducted again after two weeks by Dr. Nabila and Dr.Reza, a veterinarian from Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA). Even though his front leg had healed well, his paws remained cracked and rough, however, we now believe this feature may be due to natural adaptation. After the medical check-up, a satellite collar was installed on him. The satellite collar is used to monitor his movement in the forest.