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Sun bear is an arboreal bear. In the wild, they spend a lot of their time on tree harvesting fruits, resting, and sleeping.
This is Suria, one of a female sun bear at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
In her state-of-the-art forest enclosure, she can climb trees like a wild bear.
Please help Suria and other sun bears.
Please visit http://www.bsbcc.org.my/ to learn more about sun bears and BSBCC.
By Mark Rusli
These were probably our last few enrichments for Suria, before we leave on Friday! We added more firehose to her den, because Suria really loves climbing - sometimes she stays on the highest swing and won’t come down for a few hours. It feels like a den constructed for primates!
To bolster and encourage Suria’s climbing, we’ve been suspending various food-based enrichments at the top of her den. The most successful one had to be this green ball with a hole on one side. We stuffed loads of jackfruits in it, and it lasted TWO DAYS!! On Day Two we came in the morning to find Suria still furiously trying to claw a few remaining pieces of jackfruit out. Wonder if she even slept at all! It’s fascinating watching Suria balance so effortlessly on the swing, almost like a human child. (:
Wednesday, June 9th 2010 10:48pm
It’s 2.45pm. I have approximately an hour and a half left in the Sepilok grounds. In the morning, Amanda and I did husbandry, then rushed down for the orang utan feeding at 10.30am. At 1.00pm we had lunch, expecting a memorable last meal in the cafeteria. We did have one. Not in an ideal way, but it was memorable. Definitely memorable.
Soon I’ll be going back to see the bears for one last time. We bought loads of treats for them: fruits mostly, and packets of dried papaya and mango. Going to stuff their faces. I pity whoever’s doing husbandry tomorrow. Always wanted to say that, but the past few weeks if I did say it, I’ll be kicking myself the next morning. I can finally say it, and mean it. Probably not feel good for the people cleaning tomorrow, but oh well.
I pity whoever’s doing husbandry tomorrow.
There is so much to be done, and the urgency’s only settling in during my last hours here in Borneo. In 5 minutes I will walk back heavily to the bear house. I will soak in the scent of sun bear poop and relish it. I will scratch Keningau’s nose, feel Jelita’s paws, pat Chong on his fat bum. I will watch Cerah wrinkle and scrunch her nose. I will give Suria an extra snakefruit.
And I will enjoy every second of it, and remember these moments for the rest of my life unless I lose my memory. For they will constantly signify and remind me why the sun bears need saving. And why I’m here in the first place.
The next time I talk to people about sun bears, I will remember the ones I’ve met, who’ve made an impact on me, even if it was a very short stay. And I will mean every single thing I say.
~ Mark Rusli
Photos by Charlie Hoare
When you think of it in details, it is not difficult to find out these bears actually have very sad life being pets for some human to start with. They were locked in small cages for all their life to amuse their owners . They were locked behind bars, and confined in small cages; they could either walk on concrete floor or iron bars; they never see the sky on top of their head, and never do what they design and born to do like other wild bears. Trees, soil, sky, sun, rain, and everything in the forest, to these bears, are something that have been stolen in their life from poachers and hunters .
All of our rescued bears have this kind of unfortunate life until we rescued them and moved them to our new bear house and forest enclosures. Even though they have access to roam the forest enclosure, years of confinement in cages made them feel like the bear house is actually safer then the outside world. They need to be taught that they are actually belong to the forest and the forest is their home.
Suria is one of our rescued subadult female bear. On April 23, we let them out to the forest enclosure for the first time. Wai Pak, our project manager, a.k.a, uncle bear, was site by site with Suria to gave her all the courage she needed to venture out to her new forest enclosure that we all work so hard to give them.
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Today marked history of BSBCC as we are starting to move the 12 bears in the old bear house to the state of the art new bear house 1. Our plan today is to move Om, Ah Chong and Suria in the morning but the move have to delay because we have found a problem with the locking device of the bear den’s door in the new bear den during our final checking an hour before the move. Luckily, the issue has been solved immediately and everything went according to plan.
We start the entire procedure with Om, one of our three males bear in the centre. Om is a 5 year old bears who was confiscated by the Wildlife Department from private owner some 5 years ago. I have the privilege to witness his growth over the past 5 years and have been taking good care of him over the past 5 years.
It has been a very good day. 3 moved, 9 to go!
Text & Photo by Jocelyn Stokes
Yesterday, while playful Suria was chewing on a stick or two, the BSBCC crew was busy re-cementing the floor of the larger enclosure. Although, she doesn't know it yet, Suria will soon be moved back into the large activity area where she will have quadruple the space to roam and play. The problem began when the bears started to dig up the cement flooring, which injured the padding on their paws. Suria had to be quarantined briefly to prevent further injury while the floor was repaired. Now, we are all excited to see her moved back in!
Further excitement is also spreading with the steady progress of the new bear centre roof. The construction workers have been diligently preparing for this task and are now busy realizing the completion of the new ceiling. Also being laid, currently, are the first bricks of the new centre. Great work everyone!
Text by Ng Wai Pak
31st March was a special day in BSBCC. Everybody was cheered up as we were waiting for this moment for months. That’s because we were going to moved three bears into the new bear cages! Please read http://www.bsbcc.org.my/bear-talk-blog/new-bear-cages-finally-done
Susie was the first bear who moved into the new cage. Elis, SOURC ranger, sedated Susie and then she has a medical checked by Dr Cecilia. According to Dr., Susie health was much better compare to the first day Susie arrive at BSBCC last August. Anybody can tell the different on its fur and coating, it’s more shining now!
Due to the shortage of bear cage, she was put into a 122 x 92 x 106cm cage for the last few months. However, now she can have a more spacious cage to stay and hang around! Nevertheless, she can go out to the exercise enclosure that full with dried leaves and branches!
Susie was kept in this small cage for several months while waiting the new bear cage to be finished. Susie also has a new neighbor, Kuamut. She was moved into the cage beside Susie. We hope that Kuamut will get used to her new home and neighbor very soon. Of course, she also can explore the exercise enclosure just like others. If you are our loyal reader, you will remember Kuamut was a pet before with two heavy chains on her neck. Please read story about Kuamut at http://www.bsbcc.org.my/bear-talk-blog/kuamut-our-latest-rescued-sun-bear
The last bear we moved was Suria, the youngest in the centre. She was put into the cage beside Kuamut. For sure, Suria likes her new home very much. Suria was so keen on her cage and started to explore at every corner once she was recovered from the sedation. She even started to climb for the first time! However, we found out that her arm muscle was not strong enough, and need to depend on her teeth to grab on the bars. We are still optimist that Suria can build up her muscle and climbing skills very soon!
After several hours climbing, breaking log and branches, Suria was exhausted and slept peacefully in her new sleeping basket for the first time. I can’t describe how happy when I saw these three bears were released into their new and more spacious cages. However, I still have to pray harder and hope that BSBCC new bear house can be started to build soon. That is because I know more bears are still keep in bad condition, in small and dirty cages without proper care of the their “owners”. I also hope the forest will stay healthy so that the sun bears will never lose their natural home.