A new observation platform and aerial walkway were built adjacent to the existing boardwalk at the sun bear viewing area. This additional structure funded by Sime Darby Foundation will be able to cater more visitors to see the sun bears in their natural habitat. The construction is expected to be completed by March 2016.
On the 12th January until 16th January 2016, a group of 10 volunteers from The Peninsula Community Project through World Challenge arrived at our Centre and helped to build a mini observation platform outside enclosure A as well as perimeter steps outside the forest enclosure. This benefits BSBCC by reducing fundraising burden by building international support for conservation of wild animals in Borneo.
The team was supervised by Jason Tan Ming Hau from Arkitrek with the help from BSBCC staff. Upon arrival of the team, an introduction talk about sun bears and BSBCC was presented by BSBCC staff. This was followed by a health and safety briefing before the team started working.
On behalf of BSBCC team, we want to thank the Peninsula Community Project for helping us in upgrading our facilities.
As of now the BSBCC has the capacity to rehabilitate 28 rescued sun bears, yet there are more bears waiting to be rescued from illegal captivity. Our dream is to house, rehabilitate and reintroduce these bears to their natural forest home. Today we can stand and watch, as this dream slowly becomes reality!
Each day construction of the new bear house grows closer to completion. The new bear house will allow us to care for more rescued bears. Under the architectural expertise of Arkitrek, the facility has been designed to encompass a variety of sustainable building techniques, which involves utilizing existing buildings and re-using enclosures wherever possible.
This also includes a system for harvesting rainwater, an innovative structure for natural ventilation and lighting, and even some solar power.
The construction design also considers our capacity to properly care for these bears through their different stages of rehabilitation. While the new bear house will allow bears access to a forest enclosure and areas for integration, the old bear house has been refurbished to accommodate new bears in a holding area with night quarters, a bear den, and a small nursing/examination area.
The current construction also incorporates a plan for integrative visitor educational areas, which remains one of the most exciting new additions to the BSBCC.
Part of the old bear house has been transformed into a visitor education and briefing area, which will be along the pathway of the new forest boardwalk leading to the observation platform. With this completed addition we will finally be prepared to OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
With each new brick laid, our parallel dreams of providing care to more rescued sun bears and sharing these lovely, little-known bears with the world becomes a realized vision that we will be grateful to announce.
Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim
The BSBCC is on its way to construct its second bear house that will be able to occupy 16 bears. This new bear house will be surrounded by a 1.21 ha forest enclosure. However, some parts of the forest enclosure are swampy and have no trees for the bears to climb. How do we make use of the space? With the help of ideas from Arkitrek and hard work by the Raleigh International volunteers, our future enclosure is now equipped with a playground for the bears.
Check out these pictures!
The Raleigh International volunteers came from all over the world and gathered at this tropical island of Borneo to work on projects as this one. They worked with heavy tools and materials, tolerated with unpredictable weather, had countless leach bites under their socks and went back to their camp site muddy and tired everyday. However, they have done it for a good cause, which is to provided the bears with additional activities in the enclosure. These structures can be utilized in many ways to enrich the bears. We are sure that any bear would instantly check out the structures as soon as they find it. Perhaps the roaming orang utan and macaques will do as well..or any of the BSBCC staff!
Million thanks from the BSBCC team to the volunteers! We hope you enjoyed working with us!
We would also like to thank Ian Hall, founder of Arkitrek who made this project possible. Not forgetting Arkitrek intern, Adam Brown for your dedication to guide the volunteers all the way until the end of this project.
Bear hugs to everybody!
Text and photo by Tee Thye Lim
We would like to express our millions of appreciation and special credits to the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia through the Sabah Wildlife Department, for providing us the funds to expand the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).
Now, we are pleased to announce the completion of our observation platform, elevated board walk that link the car park to the observation platform, and the access road to the bear house.
This construction project started on the 9th Sept 2011, and it is now completed!
Click here to read about <We are getting there!>
The BSBCC is expecting to be opened for the public by next year (2013), and we are looking forward to seeing you here soon!
And now our remaining task is to raise sufficient funds for the construction of:
The completion of these components is crucial for the success for BSBCC to achieve our missions which is to conserve sun bears through a combination of education, rehabilitation, research, and improve the welfare of captive orphaned sun bears!
For the first time ever Raleigh has been granted behind the scenes access to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Raleigh have been working here for years but have never been able to photograph or video at the secretive centre.
I filmed for 2 days on an all access pass seeing the bears inside their original cages, inside the amazing new 'Bear House' and even entering one of the bear compounds. Alpha 4 is doing amazing work at the centre and is incredibly privileged to work along side these beautiful bears.
A wonderful experience with a wonderful creature.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/KB0QjmHhNSk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Video by Ed Gregory
Wong's notes: A huge thank you to Ed to help produce this video. It is awesome!
To all the Raleigh volunteers, you are the heroes and heroines who came to build this centre step by step, piece by piece. I will never thank you enough for your hard work!
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Thanks to the generous funding from the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia (MOTOUR http://www.motour.gov.my/ ) through Sabah Wildlife Department, 3 components in the developmental plans of BSBCC are almost complete after 5 months of construction. These 3 components are the:
1) Visitor Access Walkway from the Car Park
2) Observation Platform
3) The access road to the 1st new bear house and the Visitor Briefing Area.
Here are photos taken on Feb 27th.
As you can see, we are getting there!!
After the completion of the first bear house and the forest enclosures one and a half year ago, Bornean Conservation Centre has been quiet down from major construction. The quietness is gone now as another phase of construction started few weeks ago. Thanks to the fund raising efforts from Sabah Wildlife Department, The Ministry of Tourism Malaysia has kindly provided us with funding to build the observation platform, the elevated board walk that link the car park to the observation platform, and to upgrade the access road to the bear house. The construction for this project will take six months and scheduled to be completed on March 2012. After completion of these constructions, we will start to prepare the education materials and displays, and get ready to welcome our first visitor on July next year.
With the funding secured and the construction for the observation platform and the board walk in place, our remaining tusk is to raise sufficient funds to construct the second bear house, visitor briefing area, and renovation of the office area and the bear holding area. The completion of these components is crucial for the success for BSBCC to conserve sun bear through a combination of education, rehabilitation, research, and improve the welfare of captive orphaned sun bears.
Please help us spread the words and spread the loves to the sun bears. Please do what you do best to help us. We have come this far in our mission to conserve sun bear in many ways because of your supports and helps. And yes, we still need your help!
Translation on this notice board erected at the junction of Sepilok:
Project: Construction Project for Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Sipilok, Sabah
Owner/Client: Sabah Wildlife Department (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment)
Pay by: Ministry of Tourism Malaysia
Architect: Summaz Architect
Engineer: Perunding Menara Co. Ltd.
QS: Consultant LCF
Contractor: Dayana Enterprise
Date Construction Start: 09-09-2011 Date construction end: 09-03-2012
Repost from http://leapspiral.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bsbcc-latest-news-july-2011/
MORE NEW BEARS
Two more new bears arrived at BSBCC on 22nd April 2011. Named Mamatai and Wan Wan, both are adult females and were transferred to BSBCC from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Kota Kinabalu by Sabah Wildlife Department.
Several local contractors have submitted tenders for the BSBCC observation platform and access boardwalk construction and we hope that work will start in August this year. Meanwhile the search is still ongoing for funding for the construction of the remainder of the proposed buildings, ie. the new bear house and its forest enclosures and the visitor reception and new bear holding areas.
NETWORKING & SPREADING AWARENESS
In June, Wong and Wai Pak attended the Asia for Animals 2011 conference in Chengdu, China, hosted by Animals Asia Foundation. Later on in June, they also took part in the Borneo Carnivores Symposium, held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which brought together leading carnivore researchers working in Borneo.
An innovative event held by volunteers and supporters of BSBCC on Facebook raised an amazing USD4,152 through just two days of donations and a special on-line prize draw of donated sun bear items like paintings, artwork, soft toys and bags, from June 11-12, 2011. Many thanks to everyone involved!
None other than the man deemed the ‘Greenest Person on the Planet’ in 2008 by 3rd Whale in Canada, Matthias Gelber, visited BSBCC on 3rd June to learn more about sun bears. BSBCC also collaborated with the Sabah Forestry Department Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) to present a talk by Matthias to RDC Junior Rangers, local teachers and headmasters, parents and some visitors, at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre AV room during the visit.
Caroline Gabel, long-time supporter of Wong’s research and BSBCC, paid a visit on 17th June 2011 with Wong to see for herself the good work being carried out at the Centre. Caroline is the CEO and Founder of the US-based Shared Earth Foundation, and a passionate advocate of wildlife conservation.
BSBCC was also happy to welcome sun bear researcher Gabriella Fredriksson from the Sun Bear Environmental Education and Research Centre near Balikpapan in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Gabriella stayed from 25th-30th June, exchanging ideas and expertise with Wong and Wai Pak and discussing future collaboration with BSBCC.
On 29th July BSBCC was very excited to receive a visit from Joe Pontecorvo, the Producer and Director of the film series Bear Trek and also Bears of the Last Frontier. Joe was part of the team that previously filmed Wong carrying out his research in 2007.
22 contractors attended a site visit to BSBCC on 3rd June to decide whether to tender for phase II works. Phase I was completed in March 2010 giving us a new bear house and 1ha of electric fenced forest enclosure with capacity for 20 bears. The second phase due to start in September 2011 will give us an observation platform and allow the centre to open to the public in March 2012.
“how to carry materials in, ah?” they complained.
“can build road, ah?” they pleaded.
“cannot, oh!” they were told firmly by Puan Jum Rafiah, the Sabah Wildlife Dept. officer in charge of the BSBCC construction
“angkat tangan, lah” (carry by hand) we suggested helfpully.
The grumbling continued, while some were quite and one lauded our decision to use a steel structure. Easier to carry steel than concrete he observed. A bear made an appearance on cue and we ajourned to the sepilok cafeteria for teh tarik.
Subsequently a healthy number of contractors tendered and the tender report is due in two weeks’ time. We’ll annouce the winner at the end of July.