Text and photos by Wai Pak
After few days of observation on our latest rescued sun bears, Julaini and Ah Lun, we decided to integrate them as what we had planned. Both of them are young and are so curious to find out more about their new world. Just like human, sun bear cub like to have company and a play pal to play with.
First, we put both bears in the cages next to each other. Both of them seem comfortable with each other presence. They came close to each other, sniffing, touching, and licking, but still separated by bars. They used their own way to communicate without fighting. We are pleased to see the positive encounter and continue our observation and integration program for another day.
The next day, we are quite confidence to open up the sliding door to mix them. Ah Lun was first bear to explore into the Juliani's cage. She seemed to be stimulated by Ah Lun's smells and got very excited to explore at every single corner of the cage, sniffing non-stop and checking out every branches that Julaini had played and chewed before. Meanwhile, Julaini just relaxed and resting in his basket.
Five minutes later, Julaini climbed down from his basket. That was the first time both bears met with one another physically without any barrier. Both of them stun for a second, and very fast, they get started to play fights that lasted for hours.
It was so fascinating to see them playing, biting, rolling on the floor and chasing each other up and down, from one cage to another cage. They remind me the first day we integrate Ah Chong and Om. All these bears are so energetic and never seem tired of playing.
Everybody in the centre was so glad to see Ah Lun and Julaini live together peacefully. It is another sweet moment at BSBCC, a happy story to share with you all.
Text by Wai Pak Ng
This morning when I first step in the bear house, I found Julaini still sleeping inside her hanging basket in his den just like others in the centre. He must have slept well and had a sweet dream the entire night. Julaini really deserve it. I am sure it has been a long time that he did not sleep well. I just cannot imagine he could sleep well in a 4x 4x 5 feet iron cage with faeces and left over food on the ground !
Meanwhile, Ah Lun, the other female cub who arrive at the same day with Julaini, still need some more exploration and time to make use of the sleeping basket. However, she is getting more comfortable with my existence. Below are some close up of Ah Lun.
Some words to Little Julaini and Ah Lun:
Welcome to BSBCC! It’s our duty to provide a better life to every rescued sun bears that send to our centre. I hope both of you like your new home. This is just the beginning. Very soon, we will bring you back to the forest, your real home.
However, before that can happen please be patient. Both of you still need to go through some learning programme after your quarantine period for 3 weeks. Suria already getting very exciting to know that both of you so that you all will mix and form a young cub group. She also can't wait to show you how fun to dig soil, looking for termites and climb up to the tree!
Text by Wai Pak Ng
After the medical check up by Dr Seik Ni, both new comers were put into the empty dens at the end of our new bear house. Ah Lun was having a very deep sleep in the first two hours, whereas Julaini waked up much earlier from the sedation.
Once they were recovered from the sedation, they were so curious to their environment, the sounds of the forest, the smell of others bears around, the floor they stand on and the wall they touch. Even though they still keep inside the cages, they are now having more space to stand, stretch their body, or even climb.
I am quite surprise that Julaini did not need extra time to get his muscle functioning, and started to climb to the top of his cage! Compare to Ah Lun, I would say Julaini is much more adventurous. Julaini also remind me that the first day when Suria was released to a larger cage from her translocation cage, Suria fall down as she did not have the muscle strength to hold her body.
I tried to approach them nearer so that I can get their close up pictures. However, they were quite defensive. Even though Ah Lun, the 19 kg female cub started to growl and bark at me when I stand in front of her cage. Besides that, they do pace around their cages, showing their anxiety as I am a stranger to them.
Both of them did show some stereotypic behavior in their first day here. I think that were inevitable for captive animal that being kept in a stress condition for a long time. Lucky enough as they were being rescued at their early age before they form any permanent stereotypic behavior.
For sure, BSBCC will try their best to provide them a better facility and enrichment programme to reduce their stereotypic behavior and eventually gain back their natural survival skills in the forest. Let’s pray for them!
By Wai Pak Ng
All the BSBCC staffs were very excited in the beginning of the second half 2010 because we are ready to rescue more pet sun bears in this region after our new bear house finally completed last April. Today, there were two sun bear cubs being rescued and sent to our centre to start their new life.
Both juveniles, Ah Lun, a female, and Julaini, a male, were both kept as pet in a two small iron cages for some months since they were born. With the help from the newly established Sabah Wildlife Rescued Unit by the Sabah Wildlife Department, both bear cubs were transferred to Sepilok and arrived at BSBCC in the early morning on the 3rd of July.
Dr. Seik Ni was the veterinarian in charged of the whole translocation who also did the medical checkup for these rescued cubs. We were pleased to know that both cubs were in good health and good conditions. However, these two new comers still need to be quarantined for a month before they can have any contact to other existing bears at BSBCC. Our initially plan after their quarantine period is to form another young cub group with another female bear in the centre, Suria.
There are still a lot of sun bears being kept in a very bad living condition without proper diet and health care in Sabah. Hopefully, with the close cooperation with the Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit, we can help to conserve this little known sun bear in our country.