Sunday 18th September was a momentous day for Sun Bear Conservation Trust (SBCT UK). Finally, Anna Cocker of SBCT UK met up with Paul Clenton. Paul has also worked at BSBCC and like Anna is promoting sun bear conservation and fundraising in the UK. The meeting took place at Cannock Chase close to Stafford, West Midlands, England which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty due to its remarkable range of habitats and wildlife.
Throughout the day, Anna and Paul shared their sun bear experiences and, exchanged lots of great ideas for the trust. They plan to work together to successfully develop SBCT and ensure that sun bear conservation is widely promoted throughout the UK. A truly inspiring and motivating meeting!
If you would like to become involved with SBCT and help to raise awareness and fundraise for sun bears in the UK then please contact Anna Cocker on firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Paul Clenton
Repost from http://bearingupinborneo.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/at-last/
Yesterday was monumentous for me as I finally got to meet up with Anna Cocker. It was very exciting for me to meet her because I have heard so much about her in the past had taken us months to find a mutually-convenient time and place to get together, but I’m very glad that we did. Anna is an amazing person who has earnt her stripes at the BSBCC through contributions made at both Sepilok and Danum Valley, aswell as through her efforts to raise awareness and funding in the UK.
It was great to talk to someone who shares my enthusiasm for sun bears and their conservation. We met up at Stafford Railway Station and went for a “Beartrek” around Cannock Chase. We spent 6 hours in constant conversation about the the bears, life in Borneo and the people and places we knew; even Wai Pak’s dog got a mention! It was probably ‘good therapy’ and certainly very motivating for both of us.
Like myself, Anna has done sporsored events and given talks on sun bears; there is much that we can learn form each other by pooling our experiences. Single-handedly raising awareness for sun bear conservation can be challenging, especially when day-to-day life gets in the way of things, so I think it will be highly beneficial for us to work together and share our ideas on how to accomplish this.
Anna and I have aggreed to get together again in a few weeks to further discuss our plans to get the Sun Bear Conservation Trust back on track and firing on all cylinders. I have a strong feeling that something good is going to come of this.
Wong's notes: if you are from UK and would like to join Sun Bear Conservation Trust, please contact Anna Cocker : <email@example.com> or Paul Clenton firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Anna Cocker (Sun Bear Conservation Trust)
After completing the Great North Run on 20th September 2009 to raise money for sun bears, I have collected the last of the sponsor money, raising a total of £136.00. The Great North Run is a half marathon (13.1 miles) which is held annually in the city of Newcastle, England every September. It is the world’s second most popular half marathon road running event consisting of elite athletes, athletes running for fun and people taking part for charity. Despite it being a hot day I kept going and going as I was thinking about the sun bears in Sepilok and I made it to the finish line in 2 hours 10 minutes. It was my first time participating in the Great North Run and I was taken back with the immense volume of 54,000 people taking part as well as being completely overwhelmed by the phenomenal atmosphere and support from the crowds. I’m looking forward to running it again in the near future. Thanks everyone for all your help and support!
Anna Cocker is by far the biggest fan of sun bear. We first met during the 2006 International Conference on Bear Research and Management in Japan. With no training or background on bear research and management, Anna attended the conference simply because she had a very strong interest on bears. Her agenda during the meeting was simple: She would like to meet bear biologists to learn more about bears and also seek opportunities to work them.
Out of hundreds of bear biologists around the world who attended the conference, Anna found me. At that time, I was conducting a 3- year field study on sun bear in Borneo. This is a golden opportunity to get involve with bear research and conservation work that she has been looking for. After a year of emailing between her and me, Anna finally landed in Borneo and spent the next several months in the tropical rainforest helping me collecting field data, tracking wild sun bears, and taking care captive sun bears in Sepilok (before BSBCC was established), including Cerah, the little sun bear featured in BEARTREK the movie.
Anna learned to radio-track wild colloared sun bears in the rainforest of Borneo.
Anna’s story is a good one to tell. She is SO 100% fall in love with sun bear after spending few months of her life working with the sun bear (actually, who won’t?). Anna never stop thinking and never stop doing for sun bear even after she returned home to UK. She is one of the founding member of the UK Sun Bear Conservation Trust and has been doing a lot to raise fund for sun bear, including running Marathon for two time to raise fund for BSBCC.
Anna plan to come back to Sabah to continue her work with sun bear and study sun bear. BSBCC always welcome energetic and passionate people like Anna to work with us. I am truly blessed to have Anna working with me and helping sun bears over the past few years. I hope her story will inspire more people to care and to work with sun bear in the future.
By Anna Cocker (Sun Bear Conservation Trust)
The Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent, England hosted a very successful fundraising event on Sunday 24th May and Monday 25th May 2009.
The event which was co-organised by the UK-based Sun Bear Conservation Trust (SBCT). This event was part of the endeavour to raise funds for sun bear conservation in South East Asia. Visitors at the centre had the opportunity to indulge in a selection of homemade cakes, including gingerbread bears, play the tombola and buy a range of bear goodies such as teddy bears and handmade sun bear cards, as well as plants. Visitors were also made sun bear aware by educational talks by Wai-Ming Wong (Sun Bear Conservation Trust member and PhD student) and leaflets on sun bear conservation. BBC Radio Kent joined in the action and interviewed Fiona McInally (Sun Bear Conservation Trust member) about sun bear conservation. In total, £278.48 was raised.
Come and enjoy a fantastic family day out and help us raise money to save the ‘Forgotten Bear’!
On the Sunday 24th and Monday the 25th of May 2009, the Sun Bear Conservation Trust in conjunction with the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Sandwich, Kent are holding a ‘Sun Bear Conservation Weekend’ to raise money for the conservation of Sun Bears – the worlds smallest and least well known bear.
The Rare Species Conservation Centre is home to some of the world's lesser known rare and endangered species, often overlooked in other more mainstream zoological establishments, such as: the Fat Tailed Dwarf lemur, the Arabian Sand Cat and of course, the Sun Bear. The centre was established in 2006 and forms part of The Rare Species Conservation Trust which is a registered U.K. charity (Registered charity number 1119230). Apart from running the Rare Species Conservation Centre, The Rare Species Conservation Trust also supports and runs various other in-situ conservation projects in the field. Thanks to the their kind generosity, members of the Sun Bear Conservation Trust will be hosting a number of stalls and attractions at the centre on the second May Bank Holiday including a raffle, cake stall and information stand, all to raise money for rescued Sun Bears in South-East Asia.
The Sun Bear Conservation Trust (SBCT) is a charitable organisation founded in 2008 by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who have been lucky enough to work with Sun Bears in Borneo. SBCT is currently working towards becoming a registered charity and has been holding several events across the country to achieve the mandatory fundraising threshold to register. It is hoped that the money raised on the ‘Sun Bears Conservation Weekend’ at the Rare Species Conservation Centre will help the SBCT achieve this goal. All money raised by SBCT so far is being used to support the work carried out by the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, a sanctuary for orphaned and rescued Sun Bears, based at the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, Eastern Borneo. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is using the money donated to help build a much needed new centre for the Sun Bears they look after and also for the bear’s ongoing care. It is the hoped that, with the help of the money raised in the future, the majority of Sun Bears rescued by the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre will be rehabilitated and released into the wild. SBCT also hope to use some of the money raised in the future to raise awareness of the plight faced by the Sun Bear.
What is a Sun Bear?
The Sun Bear, which is also known as honey bear, is the smallest of the world’s eight bear species and also one of the most threatened. They can be found in several South-East Asian countries including, Malaysia, Indonesia and China, but their number are decreasing in all the countries in which they inhabit. Sun Bears can grow to just over a metre in length, stand approximately 2.5ft tall when standing on all four feet and rarely weigh more than 65kg. Sun Bears have sleek short fur, brown or black in colour with a cream coloured crescent on their chest said to resemble the rising and setting sun. They have a small tail and a very long tongue which helps them reach larvae, termites and of course honey hidden in the forest. Sun Bears have long curved claws and a pigeon towed gait, both of which make them excellent tree climbers. Sun Bears in the wild will often build nests high in the trees in which to sleep or sunbathe during the day.
Threats to the Sun Bear
Major threats currently faced by these unique animals are illegal poaching and habitat destruction, however, Sun Bear body parts are also highly sought after for traditional Chinese remedies, in particular Sun Bear bile. Bile from Sun Bears is collected in Bear Bile farms where bears are kept in tiny cages and their bile continually collected from open wounds in their abdomen. The bears in these farms suffer substantial amounts of pain and often get large tumours and fatal infections as a result of their treatment.
Sun Bears paws are also considered a delicacy in some South East Asian countries and in some cases, the bears paws are cut off while the animal is still alive. Adult mother Sun Bears are also often killed for their babies which are then sold as pets. In all of the above cases Sun Bears suffer tremendously. It is estimate that the worlds Sun Bear population has declined by at least 30% over the past 30 years and continues to decline at this rate. It is also one of the 6 bear species threatened with extinction.
Please come along on to the ‘Sun Bear Conservation Weekend’ at the Rare Species Conservation Centre on the 24th and 25th May for a fun filled family day out and help us protect this beautiful species. For more information on Sun Bears and the work carried out by the Sun Bear Conservation Trust and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation, please visit:
Or contact Fiona McInally on 07872919152, Fiona.email@example.com
Or Julie Trump on 07950611970 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Rare Species Conservation Centre, please visit www.rarespeciesconservationcentre.org
The Rare Species Conservation Centre is situated on the A256 Dover Road Roundabout, just outside of Sandwich, Kent.
The centre is open 10 am - 6 pm (last admission is 5 pm)
Entry fees: Adults £8
Text by Julie Trump, Chairman of Sun Bear Conservation Trust
As Spring arrived in the UK, the Sun Bear Conservation Trust celebrated the end of the long winter with a day of fund-raising events over the UK. In London (as previous posting) Fiona McInally had a very successful cake sale near a local street market and sold delicious home-made cakes that would have tempted the most avid dieters - even Victoria Beckham would have thrown her lettuce leaves to one side! Further north-east in Boston, Lincolnshire, Lindsey Hahn held a wonderful indoor sale and coffee morning - she had planned to hold it outside but had to change venue and run indoors with her cakes and bric-a-brac when April showers started (sorry no photo available)!
I, in Newbury Park, Essex held a bring n buy cake sale at my Mum's house and garden and was overwhelmed by the generosity of local friends and neighbours donating gifts and buying others as well as tucking into cakes and gingerbread bears and buying tickets for my prize raffle.
Anna Cocker, all the way up in Bolton, had signed up for a sponsored 5 mile run when disaster struck; she fractured her arm at karate a few days before (but you should have seen the other guy)! Despite this, her Dad and sister still kindly gave Anna their pledged money - maybe they were a little afraid with her being a brown-belt!
So, the day was a great success and raised £395 for the sun bears so a big thanks to everyone involved. Hoping to do another in the summer when temperature rises - can maybe sell ice-cream too!!!
If you are interested in helping us in the UK and supporting the work of BSBCC and sun bears everywhere, please contact us at the Sun Bear Conservation Trust by e-mailing me at : email@example.com
Follow all our news and upcoming events on this blog and please send us any comments and suggestions you have to help us help the sun bears!
Big thanks, Julie
Two weekends ago Fiona McInally from Sun Bear Conservation Trust UK, took one day off from work and spent the whole day baking delicious homemade cakes and biscuits. The next day, she and her friend set up a stall in London and spent all day talking to passers by about sun bear and selling these homemade cakes and cookies to raise money for the sun bears! After a long day of talking and busy selling these yummy home baked cakes, they had raised £174.50 for the bears!I am so touch with the efforts of Fiona, Julie and many others who have work so hard to help. These are heroes behind the scene to help and save sun bears. Slowly, bits by bits, we can achieved our goals by working together.
If you are interested in helping us in the UK and supporting the work of BSBCC and sun bears everywhere, please contact us at the Sun Bear Conservation Trust by e-mailing Julie Trump at : firstname.lastname@example.org