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Welcome to Borneo, Dame Judi Dench!
The Oscar and Golden Globes winner actress, who’s known famously for her role in the modern James Bond films and for the upcoming film adaptation of musical theater ‘Cats’ this year, Dame Judi Dench came to Sabah last April for her documentary filming by one of the world’s leading documentary film makers and producers, Anthony Geffen. The documentary, “Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure” features the Dame’s experience with Orangutans, Sun Bears, elephants, crocodiles and hornbills. This is not the first time for Dame Judi filmed a nature documentary; she has previously worked with Geffen on another BBC Special documentary titled “Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees” in 2017. Our team in BSBCC was so delighted to have Dame Judi just in time for the release of Boboi, Kitud, and Tan-Tan back to where they should belong. It has been a wonderful experience filming with the Dame and it was really great for BSBCC to be also featured in her documentary, as the viewers can watch in more detail on how our rehabilitated orphan bears being released back into the wild. The story is told in Episode 1, which is being broadcast on 2nd July 9pm in UK channel ITV1. Quotes from Dame Judi Dench about the series: “I can’t quite believe we are here and what we are going to see. What we are going to find out. What we are going to discover.” “I’ve learnt how vulnerable this wonderful place is and what we need to do to save it. This journey has affected me so much, and I’m thrilled I’ve been asked to be an ambassador for its rainforest.”
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism and Malaysia Airlines are jointly hosting international wildlife BBC UK presenter, Kate Humble who is currently on a nine-day wildlife adventure tour to Sandakan, Kinabatangan and Deramakot.
Humble’s trip to Sabah is a special initiative by travel consultants Wildlife Worldwide UK to feature Sabah as an off-the-beaten wildlife expedition package for UK travelers. The package is expected to take off later this year.
The highlight of the wildlife expedition will be the presenter’s mission to see and learn about the elusive clouded leopard which can only be found deep in the rainforests of Sabah.
Sabah Tourism had met Humble at the Sepilok and the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) where she had the chance to meet and share insights with Dr Wong Siew Te, founder of the BSBCC.
“This place (Sepilok) is extraordinarily well set-up for travelers like me,” said Humble who was also pleased to see locals visit the centre.
“To be able to see 6-7 species of mammals within the hour half during the night walk at Rainforest Discovery Centre is really special!” she added.
Humble will also be writing her experiences for the Daily Telegraph UK.
New Straits Times, 8th June 2018
by Avila Geraldine
KOTA KINABALU: Despite stringent laws in Sabah, many continue to use the social media platforms to trade endangered exotic wildlife as pets across the nation.
Raising the concern, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) has identified Facebook and Instagram accounts offering sun bear cubs, civet cats, leaf monkeys, gibbons, leopard cats, raptors, hornbills and tapir among others.
BSBCC founder and chief executive officer Dr Wong Siew Te said the authorities would know about this and yet there are not enough action taken by them.
“I have reported my findings since last year and sadly it's business as usual for some of the people involved,” he told NSTP.
“If this continues, our wildlife will be gone soon. There are already many wildlife population affected by habitat lost over the past 50 years.
“The remaining wildlife population are barely hanging on to the highly fragmented habitat with a lot of poaching pressure,” Wong said.
Wong, a wildlife biologist, said most of the traders operate using private accounts and some have their contacts clearly stated. “They can be traced and contacted, if the authorities wants to.”
He urged the government to seriously look into this as illegal wildlife traders and buyers appear not to be afraid of the law.
“It’s time for change on how we look at wildlife conservation. The government needs to look at wildlife crime more seriously,” he stressed.
Wong noted that the BSBCC celebrated Sun Bear Day on May 16 to raise public awareness on the protection and conservation of sun bears.
But few days later, close to the end of May, he detected an advertisement that offered a sun bear cub online.
Sun bears are totally protected in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. It is also a protected species in Sarawak.
Wong stressed wild animals sold were national treasures, adding they play important roles in the forest ecosystem.
“They are abducted and killed. If we keep quiet and choose to do nothing, soon our forest will become an empty forest,” he added.
The Star Online, 30th May 2018
by Fatimah Zainal
KOTA KINABALU: From sun bear cubs and tapir calfs to slow loris and hornbills, the illegal wildlife trade is booming online and must be stopped, said wildlife biologist Dr Wong Siew Te.
Dr Wong, who found many such businesses brazenly operating on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, said it was sad that such illegal activities were still widespread in Malaysia.
Despite these sales being illegal under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, hundreds of juvenile protected animals are still being killed, captured and sold as pets and for individual profits, said Dr Wong.
Dr Wong, who is known for his studies on the sun bear and for founding the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sandakan, was shocked to discover sun bear cubs being sold online.
One Instagram page had more than 500 posts advertising protected infant animals for sale.
“The protected wildlife species that are sold include the calfs of the highly endangered Malayan tapir, sun bear cubs, infant gibbons, infant leaf monkeys, slow loris, leopard cat kittens, juvenile raptors, hornbills, civets, and more.
“All of these protected wildlife infants possibly had their mothers killed by illegal poachers in order to obtain these infants,” he said.
On the BSBCC Facebook page, Dr Wong on Wednesday (May 30) shared a video he found on the Instagram page which was advertising a sun bear cub for sale.
It showed a man bottle feeding milk to the cub.
“The sun bear is a totally protected species in West Malaysia and Sabah, and protected species in Sarawak.
“No one is allowed to sell, to kill, to keep, and to possess any body parts of sun bears,” Dr Wong wrote in his post accompanying the video.
Since the online business is being conducted in the peninsula, Dr Wong had reported the matter to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) which told him that the matter will be investigated.
He said the discovery of sun bear cubs being sold online comes just two weeks after BSBCC celebrated Sun Bear Day on May 16, which was aimed at raising public awareness on the protection and conservation of sun bears.
“If we keep quiet and choose to do nothing, soon our forests will be empty,” he said.
Borneo Post Online, 9th March 2018
by Winnie Kasmir
The Star online, 8th March 2018
by Muguntan Vanar
New Straits Times, 8th March 2018
by Avila Geraldine
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