School and community outreach on Wildlife Conservation Awareness and Education Programme at Kg. Bambangan, Sandakan.
On the 19th October 2022, BSBCC organised a Wildlife Conservation Awareness and Education Programme to Kampung Bambangan, Sandakan, which lies at the vicinity of Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. This is the first programme of such organised by BSBCC targeting the community, and more will be coming soon. The programme aimed to reach the community living near to forest reserve to raise the awareness on conservation and providing a platform for state departments, NGOs and related agencies to exchange information on relevent issues.
The programme was preceded by a school outreach programme in SK Bambangan, targeting the school students and teachers in the morning. A total of 187 students and 17 teachers reached in this programme. At the same time, community members and students were visiting the exhibition booths prepared by BSBCC, Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP), Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC), Orangutan Appeal UK, Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC).
This was followed with mini sports games to foster good relationship between the community and the organiser. At night, the community attended talks given by Sabah Wildlife Department, TRCRC, HUTAN-KOCP and BSBCC. An estimated number of around 150 community members attended the talks (exceeding the expected number!) with several issues related to wildlife conflict and legals were discussed. With this, it is hoped that the issues were clarified for suitable future actions and will lead to a better environment for human, wildlife and nature.
BSBCC would love to extend the biggest gratitude to Ministry of Finance (MOF) for the funding of this programme and all the participations from state department, agencies, NGOs, Kampung Bambangan's Development and Safety Committee and SK Bambangan in making this programme a success. Thank you!
Today, we continued our outreach programme for Wildlife Conservation Awareness and Education Programme to SMK Elopura, Sandakan together with our loyal conservation partners, Sabah Wildlife Department, HUTAN - Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Programme (KOCP), Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Orang Utan UK Appeal and Seratu Aatai. Many educational and awareness activities were conducted to raise students’ awareness of nature and wildlife conservation.
Today, we continued our outreach programme about Wildlife Conservation Awareness and Education Programme to SJK(C) Min Chung, Sepilok, Sandakan. Educational booths were set up, and activities such as presentations, colouring activity and mini-games were conducted to spread awareness about nature and wildlife conservation to the pupils. We also introduced Sunny the Sun Bear to the pupils through an interactive talk about sun bears.
Many thanks to our conservation partners: Sabah Wildlife Department, HUTAN – Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Programme (KOCP), Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Orang Utan UK Appeal, and Seratu Aatai for your involvement in this programme. See you at our next outreach!
#bsbcc #environment #wildlife #conservation #awareness #sunbear
On the 8th September 2022, Sabah Wildlife Department invited BSBCC and HUTAN-KOCP to an education outreach programme to Kim Loong Resources Plantation, Lung Manis, Beluran. The programme was started with opening speech from the plantation managements, followed by talk about Wildlife Law and Penalties from Sabah Wildlife Department, Changing Landscape from HUTAN-KOCP, and Introduction to Sun Bear Conservation from BSBCC. The programme was attended by staffs, school children and parents. We truly appreciate the hospitality of Kim Loong Resources Plantation management and staffs that provided us a chance to spread the words on behalf of our sun bears. Thank you!
On the 29th of August 2022, BSBCC was invited by Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) to a joint outreach programme at Sabah Group Plantation, IOI Group, Luang Manis, Beluran together with HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme. The programme aimed for the staffs and community, together with the students living in the plantation. Among the activities are talks on the law and enforcement, conservation of orangutan and sun bear, exhibitions and activities with the students. Although it was a short programme, we are feeling grateful for the cooperation given by the IOI Group plantation management, who accommodated us warmly. We are looking forward for more cooperation in the future, thanks to all involved in the programme!
As part of our efforts to raise public awareness about sun bear conservation, the BSBCC Environmental Education Unit reached out to the children of Baptist Church Kindergarten (Main Branch) on August 25th, 2022. The programme includes an interactive talk about sun bears with Sunny the Sun Bear as the model, followed by sun bear mask colouring session.
The programme continued on August 26th, 2022, when the children visited us at BSBCC. We brought them to the observation platform to let them see the real sun bears in the natural forest enclosures. Each of them is given a worksheet activity, and they need to observe and spot the animals in the forest other than sun bears.
We hope they are enjoying the visit and learning more about the wildlife, especially the sun bears.
#bsbcc #sunbear #environmentaleducation
Happy World Elephant Day! Our event yesterday was very successful as we celebrated World Elephant Day at Kg. Bilit Hall, Kinabatangan. This memorable day, that is on the 14th of August 2022, BSBCC opened an exclusive exhibition to support the effort of raising awareness of the importance to protect our wildlife. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Aiddie Jamali, Enforcement Officer of Sabah Wildlife Department, Kinabatangan District.
This event was also livened up with presence of NGOs and GOs such as Sabah Wildlife Department, HUTAN-KOCP, Seratu Aatai, GAIA, and KKM.
Other than opening up a booth and giving casual talks for the community of Kg Bilit, there were also lucky draws, quizzes and colouring sessions that was prepared for them. The attendees from all range of age have actively participated in all of the sessions. A huge thank you for the Community Honorary Wildlife Warden and Seratu Aatai for organising this wonderful event and also inviting us to participate in it. It was a very fun and exciting day thanks to everyone!
Text & Photos by Laurelle Cassandra Rooney
Hello there! I am Laurelle Cassandra Rooney, a 21 year old from Tawau, Sabah. I am a second year Zoology student at University of Malaysia Sarawak.
Why did I choose BSBCC and what have I learnt from doing my internship here for the last 10 weeks?
Being an animal lover, I’ve always dreamt about working with animals not only with domestic animals but the wildlife as well. My passion grew bigger as I grew up and I heard of a conservation centre which is the BSBCC. I ended up doing my internship at the BSBCC and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. It iwas my first time working with these wild animals and I got to experience hands-on activities with the sun bears. While doing my internship here, I learned that the sun bears are listed as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List and they are the world’s smallest bear species.
When I first arrived, I was amazed at how the whole bear house runs with the bear keepers. My daily work routine consisted of cleaning the cages, food preparation, feeding the bear inside the house as well as around the forest enclosures, making enrichments, fence checking and assists in health checks. Personally, my favourite part of the day is making enrichments for the bears. Watching the sun bears eat can also make your day.
We treked into the jungle to find logs and sticks. I manually drilled for the first time in my life, collected banana and dry leaves and logs which we used to mimic the environment of being in a forest enclosure. I had the opportunity to design and make some hanging platforms for the bears to rest and play on. I also had the chance to build a ramp for one of the pens to allow the bears to enter the forest enclosure.
I would like to say a huge thank you to my buddy, Roger, for always helping me and supporting me throughout my internship here in BSBCC. I would also like to thank the other bear keepers which are Azzry, David (longest working staff in BSBCC), Brandon and Adneen, who have helped me while I did my internship here. These people were there for me during my hard times and they always had their way of cheering me up and I would be stress-free just by working with them. We did a lot of projects together from hanging platforms, to building ramps, and preparing enrichments together. They taught me the correct way of handling the equipment when doing our projects.
Working in the bear house has left me with a bunch of memorable experience in my life. I learnt the diet of the sun bears and from what I saw, different bears have different diets and different personalites which makes them cute in their own way. Watching them play with each other is also the best part of the day.
I would like to thank the educational staff for giving me the chance to visit two different places which were Sukau, Kinabatangan and around Sandakan area for the outreach programme. I got the chance to share information about the BSBCC itself and also about the sun bears. By joining the outreach programme, I, myself, gained more knowledge on sun bears and the way of conserving the sun bears and other wildlife.
I want to say thank you to Dr. Wong for the sharing sessions and also for giving me the opportunity to be part of the team even if it is only for 10 weeks.
I came to BSBCC to make a contribution in helping the sun bears in any way possible and I feel like I did. Working with the sun bears made a huge impact in my life and my passion in working and aiding the wildlife grew bigger. I would like to express my gratitude once again to my buddy, the other 3 bear keepers, Azzry, Brandon and Adneen, not to forget David, who helped me throughout my internship here. Thank you so much for the rewarding experience and accepting me as a part of their team. Do forgive me if there were any mistakes that I have done unintentionally. But it is time to say goodbye to the team. Always keep in touch with each other.
Regards from me, Laurelle.
Text By Umadevi A/P Murrty
Photos By Umadevi A/P Murrty & Chiew Lin May
Hey there, I am Umadevi, a 20 years old from Perak. I am a second year Animal Health student at University Putra Malaysia Bintulu Campus.
How did I came here and What BSBCC has done in my life?
Being a nature lover that I would love to live amidst nature and care for the animals and wildlife have always been my peculiar interest and passion since I got into my studies. All I wanted to do was work with wild animals. I completely admire a position in BSBCC because I found something incredibly satisfying about acting in a way that is consistent with my principles. Many people who do voluntary work say that it has helped them to feel more confident in all sorts of ways and fun-filled days with the bears. This boosts my interest level up since I love to learn through hands-on experience. I felt good knowing that I’m doing something for a good cause. So, that’s how I got into here in BSBCC and it is probably the best decision I have ever made. It is my first time working with wild animal that listed as vulnerable species on IUCN Red List, THE SMALLEST BEAR IN THE WORLD-SUN BEAR. Doesn’t it sound so cool ? It’s getting a taste of what you want to do with the rest of your life. Unfortunately my time over here is going to end in a week.
The work here in bear house is heavy duty and it took a while for me to adapt to their hectic schedule. I must say that I’m just so amazed how the whole bear house is run. I believe looking after 43 bears with different behaviors is a huge task and yet the bear house still filled with jokes and laughter. I amazed to work with people who has a big heart for animals. Thanks to the people around me. My internship days typically involved cleaning the pens (oops, getting completely wet with water splashes), food preparation, feeding, checking the electric fences, assist health checks, making enrichments or physical jobs. I particularly enjoyed feeding the bears at the forest enclosure. It’s a great pleasure to watch them enjoying their food happily as well as splashing themselves with water from their water container.
Is that all? When I first came to bear house, I was terrified working in kitchen. I won’t lie, the first week of me being here is like a small kid that escaped from the hustle & bustle of city who doesn’t know anything about preparing food in kitchen. Believe me, I still break a sweat though. But, isn’t there a way that it can be done? What always kept me going was all the lovely bears as well as the cheerful staffs. In fact, things become even more fun as the days passed by.
I would say, creating enrichment for the bears is also very fun and adventure. Trekking into the jungle to find termite nests, collecting banana leaves, logs, sawing a bamboo, manual hand drilling for the first time, adding branches, logs and dry leaves to mimic a forest enclosure in the cage some of the merrymaking time in here. Designing and making a climbing, swinging structure for the three cubs- Romolina, Logan and Joe.
In addition to enriching the sun bears living conditions, I had learned about sun bears in the different stages of rehabilitation and the process of releasing them back into the wild.
On my 6th week here, we managed to construct a structure type enrichment for Kudat and I guess Kudat really loves it.
I was lucky enough to involved in an important part of the process- putting the electronic collar around Boboi, Kitud and Tan-Tan’s neck before release back in the wild. Furthermore, I was given an opportunity to observe Romolina, Joe and Logan’s integration process with another big group of bears. Watching them gets along with each other like watching ‘tom and jerry’ in tv- IT’S ADORABLE !!
ADRIAN DAMSHA, was my assigned buddy. Why his name sounds so weird? This is what was playing on my mind on the first day. Thank you Ady, guiding me and tolerating my childishness throughout my internship. (SABAR ITU INDAH haha). He always used to say that ‘You’re my responsibilty’ HATI-HATI. Sometimes, he reminds me about my elder brother who used to take care of me. 2 weeks prior to ending my internship, we started constructing a ram in training pen-G for Ronnie Boy. Actually, Ronnie had traumatized by the past life and don’t want to go down from the cage. Isn’t it better to make a change ? Aren’t you interested in seeing Ronnie in forest? So, we did managed to accomplished the mission of making a new ram in 2 days with the help of two strong boys of BSBCC-Mizuno and Nizam.
Not forgetting the staffs in BJORN HALA (inc Tylee Lim, Lin may)- bear house. A smile creeps on my face and I don’t know the reason. It’s the first time for me where I need to prepare my meals for myself for so many continuous days and yeah honestly, that’s what I do hate in my internship. This had been challenging but definitely one of the most memorable memories in my life! From zero knowledge of cooking to something better is unbelievable. So much of what is best in us is bound up as a family. The thought of meeting new people in a new place and trying to act mature in an environment I was not sure of scared me. But, after a week everything changed. Endless play fights, sharing moments, playing pirate barrels, chasing each other, lovely dogs- panda and milktea, watching the stars at night, a home that taught me to be more independent, hearing stories, learning from their journey and making memorable friendships. I love having this memories- all those days. Hmmm, I miss Bjorn Hala. I’m so sorry at times I acted childish and hyperactive (mostly all the time LOL). I’m sorry if so ‘ bipolar’ early mornings- but I wish I can overcome that. This family is pure and all I’m wishing is happiness, take care everyone.
Not to forget the educational team, for giving me a chance to visit two different schools around Sandakan for outreach programs. Outreach program plays a major role in raising awareness of conservation of sun bears among kids.
It’s the end of a unique adventure. I wanted to thank each one of you. Thank you Dr Wong for the sharing sessions and the delicious cook as well !
I came to BSBCC to make a contribution, and I feel I did, but the bear house contribution to me was even greater. My 10 weeks here feels overwhelming. As the days went by I started to feel completely at home in BSBCC. If this is what I love, then it will be worth it. The first path I took was the path of internships to help the bears to heal and grow in their natural habitat. Thank you so much for this rewarding experience and accepting me as a part of your team. Thank you everyone for enlightened my days at BSBCC. Do forgive me if there is any mistake that I’ve done unintentionally. But in the end it was time to say goodbye. Keep in touch, big bear hugs. LOTS OF LOVE, UMA.
Text By Emily Tan Yu En
Photos By BSBCC & APE Malaysia
Hey everyone! I’m Emily Tan Yu En, 17 from Penang, Malaysia and I just graduated from high school. I am waiting for my SPM results and I have 3 months before entering university. I came across this volunteering programme as my parents got to know about it from Mr Wong. Even though I’m a Malaysian, I’ve never been to Sabah before and I was really excited about this programme. I am no stranger to sun bears as I saw one in a mini zoo in Peninsula Malaysia. There are two sun bears in that enclosure and you can tell from their facial expression that they’re not being treated well in the zoo. Their enclosure is really small and they only get contact with each other. That was the first experience with sun bears.
My volunteering programme starts from 5th of January until 18th of January and there are five more volunteers at that time but I’m the only one who has a two week placement. I’ve experience a lot of first experiences throughout the project. For my two weeks in the bear house, I get to clean the cages, work in the kitchen, do enrichments for the bears and also a lot of funny moments like getting stuck in the mud after collecting banana leaves , falling in the drain because of a flood , a piece of wood fell on my foot and a lot more. I also get to build a swing for the cub with my buddy, Brandon and Ieda. The volunteers from Ape Malaysia are really nice and I really had a great time with them. We played card games every night and we laughed a lot.