Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May
Dodop was rescued from Singgaron village, Ranau district, Sabah. She was kept as a pet in a small cage. She arrived at BSBCC on 2nd June, 2016.
On June 2nd, 2016, Dr. Rosa Sipangui, a veterinarian from the Sabah Wildlife Department and the BSBCC team performed a general health check. Dr. Rosa sedated Dodop and made a full assessment of her health status. This is crucial for sun bears as it puts us in a position to immediately assess the correct diet and possible medical treatment for them. During the health check it was confirmed that Dodop is missing her all of her four permanent canines. The blood test results on the other side have shown, that she is healthy. Today, Dodop weighs 19.6 kg. She has gained a lot of weight in just one month!
Dodop finished her quarantine on July 2nd, 2016. Dodop settled in well. She has grown into a beautiful young female and also a fussy bear. That is the problem with cubs that have been kept in captivity with close human contact for long periods, which ends in the bears requiring a great need of comfort. People who kept her as pet completely did not know the basic needs of a sun bear. They fed her the wrong diet and made the sun bear be stressed, at times depressed with a poor physical condition and malnutritioned.
Dodop has been introduced to new large dens. The moment she was release into the large den, she barked but then without hesitation, Dodop ran in, looked around, climbing over everything but she still needed to find her surrogate mother to suckle for comfort. During the day she is in big dens with a nice view over the playground. So that she can get used to her new surroundings, where she is taught to use the climbing structures and how to forage for food. We are for example now hiding hid food in her dens so that Dodop could practice foraging skills. In the wild sun bear cubs would be with their mother until they are about three years old. The cubs learn all the necessary behavior and survival skills that they need.
We will be anxious to see how she develops her bear skills. We hope for Dodop to become wilder, which is what we are always looking for in a rehabilitation process. In the coming weeks, Dodop will be introduced to another sun bear cub and taken out for walks to the adjacent forest reserve. Here she will be learn and develop her survival skills for the wild. Stay tuned with BSBCC to have follow ups on Dodop out to the forest story!
Here are photos of Dodop introduction to larger dens.
Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May
Do you remember the story of the motherless bear cub which was found by a ranger in Forest Management Unit (FMU) 16, Pinangah, Telupid District? Our little Wawa is not so little anymore. Sun bear cubs grow very fast, especially when they are 4 to 10 months old. She is now 6 months old and her body weighs 11.90 kg. She has started to learn to eat solid food. Her favourite foods are soft fruits like papaya, banana and milk!
It is one month until little Wawa finishes her quarantine period. She should be brought out to the forest to learn all the survival forest skills that she needs. Due to the emotional trauma that resulted from being kept as a pet or the suffering from losing her mother, Wawa does not want to step out from quarantine into the nearby forest and becomes more scared if we let her paws on the forest floor. She becomes grumpy and starts growling! She still feels safer and prefers to stay in quarantine compared to out in the forest. This is the problem when you keep a sun bear as a pet for long periods in captivity. We will never know exactly what happened to her. Her history was told that she was found lifeless and alone without her mother.
This is a challenge for us and our bear care keepers to encourage the cub to forage and climb trees like a wild bear. The love and care of a mother bear can never be replaced but BSBCC bear care keepers provide as much love and support as they can to the sun bear orphans. In order for little Wawa to gain trust and confidence, bear cub keepers provided many natural enrichments to stimulate and prepare her for life back in the wild. She will practice her “wild bear skills”. We let Wawa have a larger exercise den. During the day she is in a larger den with a nice view over the playground. At the den she will be able to view the forest. The den equipped facility features natural habitat enrichment, places to hide away, play objects such as termite mounds, bird nests, logs, dead wood, branches, twigs, dry leaves, and fresh plants to encourage natural behavior such as searching for food, foraging skills, climbing, etc. She is relishing the opportunity to explore the larger den. Wawa is being encouraged to climb and explore around. These are the skills essential for survival in the wild. She is particularly fond of treats and any form of enrichment. She is good at exploring and investigating the enrichment. She has explored, played, climbed, and rested in the big exercise pen. We hope Wawa has her days filled with fun and not fear!
Wawa will be given time to become adjusted to her new surroundings. She will slowly gain strength, confidence and develop her independence to survive in the forests of Borneo. She is now learning to enjoy her life again after suffering the pain from the loss of her mother. For sun bear cubs, it means that she will now get her second chance to live in the wild as she was born to do.
Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Sun bears live in dense tropical forests across Southeast Asia. In Peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo, the habitat of sun bears is the ever green tropical rainforests. These rainforest are green and lush all year long with multi-layers of canopies that can reach 65 m above the ground. Trees and all sort of plants grow at every corner in the forest. These dense vegetations provide important covers for the wildlife that live in these forests. As a result, wildlife in the tropical rainforest is illusive, rarely seen, and not well known. One of the wildlife found in these forests is the sun bear!
Let me show you how sun bears live in the lowland tropical rainforest of Borneo.
Thanks to Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Depart, LEAP, many funders, supporters, partners, volunteers, BSBCC has started from a big dream to reality.
Please share these photos and feel free to tag yourself and friends!
Thank you, thank you and thank you!
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 photos by Ade Kurniawan
In the past few weeks, the BSBCC has been quite fortunate to receive two different groups of volunteers (Raleigh and Camp Borneo) to help with several construction projects in the centre (designed and supervised by Arkitrek interns, Adam Leigh-Brown and Maryam Gomary). Not an easy task as both groups had to complete their projects while battling Borneo’s sweltering heat and sudden torrential rains. Not to mention the occasional pig-tail macaque and orang-utan harassment!
Another group arrived on the 22nd July to continue the work done by the previous Alpha 4 group. To recap, the Raleigh volunteers have been focusing on the construction of several large enrichment structures which will be used in the future forest enclosure. Supervised by Adam and Raleigh project leaders, these volunteers spared no time and went straight to work!
In the past several weeks, Camp Borneo (part of Camps International, an organization focusing on volunteerism via expeditions) has sent two groups to help construct a compost bin for the BSBCC. With all the food waste (unused parts of fruits, vegetables, etc) produced in the BSBCC kitchen, it became quite clear that such waste could be put to good use. On top of that, they were also tasked to build a boardwalk that would lead to the future forest enclosure. These two projects were designed and led by Maryam.
SANDAKAN: The Tourism Ministry will further assist the Sabah government in upgrading facilities at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok, near here.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said priority would be given to the application of a RM1.4 million allocation for renovaton works at the centre under the third rolling plan of the Tenth Malaysia Plan.
“This is based on the importance of the place as a research centre on the Bornean sun bear which is already well known throughout the world,” she said after visiting the centre Tuesday.
“The allocation is required to replace the narrow cages for the animal at the centre with a big open-air enclosure, as well as to upgrade other facilities.”
Dr Ng said the federal government, through her ministry, had already assisted in upgrading the walkway and observation centre which were completed in May. –Bernama
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/06/13/tourism-ministry-to-assist-in-upgrading-of-bornean-sun-bear-conservation-centre-new/#ixzz1xk8dyGXg