Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim
The BSBCC team was expecting a visit from the local primary school, SRK (C) Chi Hwa, Sandakan on the 16th October 2012. A total of 236 standard 6 (12 year olds) pupils came to the Centre on that day . They were accompanied by 17 dedicated teachers and their headmistress, Mdm Ooi Mee Har.
Yes, it was a big number! In fact the biggest number of visitors we had so far coming in one day. They all did not come at one time. Instead, the pupils were separated into 7 groups and 1 group came at one time.
The first group arrived at 9.30 am. Not having much idea of what to expect, all were excited when they were told that they were about to see the smallest bear in the world! It was amazing how silent they were along their way to the platform. Perhaps their teachers have taught them well of how to respect and appreciate nature. We were so impressed.
As soon as they reached the platform, all spread around and took their best place to look for the sun bears hiding in the forest enclosure. Some groups were lucky and saw the interesting behavior of the sun bears climbing up the trees. The BSBCC team took this opportunity to share about the sad stories of why the bears are currently at the Centre.
The visit ended at 3.00 pm. I think the team did a wonderful job. Now an additional 253 people know about the sun bears! Special thanks to Madam Ooi and her team of teachers who had made all this possible!
Text and photos by Gloria Ganang
A group of 12 Singaporean students from Nanyang Technological University visited the centre today at 3pm. They are journalism students and spent few hours at our observation platform watching the sun bears at the enclosure as well as an interview session with Wong. Thanks for visiting us and help us spread the words about sun bears! Cheers!
Text by Gloria Ganang and photos by Tee Thye Lim
On the beautiful sunny morning of the 14th August 2012, the BSBCC team started the day with a preparation for a remarkable visit of the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Simon Featherstone and his family. Also present during the visit was the Council’s guests, Shire President of Boyup Mr. Michael Giles and his family, the Australian Defence Adviser and Deputy Defence Adviser as well as the new Deputy Director, Office of Australian War Graves, Canberra. Their visit to Sepilok was their first time. The BSBCC team are so honored to welcome them!
They arrived at 2pm, just in time for the bears' 3rd feeding of the day in the forest enclosure. They were welcomed by the Officer in Charge of the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC), Madam Sylvia Alsisto, together with the BSBCC team and a group of international volunteers.
Their visit to the BSBCC was led by our Project Manager, Wai Pak and also assisted by other BSBCC staff. Everyone had a close view of the sun bears foraging and socializing in the forest enclosure. The staff described about the urgent needs of sun bear conservation and talked about the unfortunate background of each of the sun bears they saw in the enclosure.
After the visit to the BSBCC, the VIP visitors proceeded their visit at the SOURC which they were welcomed by a group of orang utan hanging on bamboo stems at the SOURC entrance. This is followed by a tea session with the staff. The visit ended with a presentation of souvenir to the HE Mr. Simon Featherstone. Warm wishes from the BSBCC staff! We hope you enjoyed your visit at our centre!
Text by Gloria Ganang and photos by BSBCC team.
The BSBCC is very fortunate to have volunteers from the Oakland Zoo, Oakland, California helping us in the process of building up the centre. They arrived on the 17th July 2012. They planned 7 days of their stay in Sabah at the BSBCC helping us doing husbandry works and enrichment for our bears, maintenance works, and research as well.
The volunteers comprise of 17 people of the age 15-19 years old and led by 2 group leaders, Melinda Seivert and Stacey Smith. We are also lucky to have Manuel as their tour guide who had worked hard together with the group at the centre. Each volunteers had experiences working in the zoo for at least a year. Sun bears are one of the animal species they have in their zoo. This was their first trip to Borneo, therefore they were very excited for their activities ahead. The group was given an introduction talk by our project manager, Wai Pak on their first day. It was followed by a tour around the centre. Later in the evening they helped us do a final clearing of construction bits and pieces around our newly constructed bridge and platform. The next 5 days, the teens was divided into groups and did various tasks of the centre’s improvement. They did husbandry works which include renumbering guillotine doors at bear house, repainting rusted cage bars and collecting dried leaves for bear enrichment. They also cleared leaves and branches around enclosure fences, cleaned hot wire along enclosure, piled up reusable wood materials, greased bolts on bridges outside enclosure fences, cleaned drainage and covered drain area with gravel. The group also made new enrichment for our bears which include 4 fire hose hammocks and 5
They also did a research on public knowledge of sun bears by interviewing visitors around Sepilok.
Wong (BSBCC founder and CEO) gave a brief lecture about sun bear ecology before the group get to experience the tropical rainforest adjacent to the centre. We traced animal footprints such as wild boar and mouse deer and bear claw marks on tree barks, saw some species of lizards, birds and insects. We also saw plenty of cicada and termite nests. The volunteers were fascinated with the different kind of living organisms in the rainforest. However, the attention went most to the all time famous leaches! Everyone helped each other making sure there were no leaches on them.
The group spent their last day watching our exclusive video of “Big Dreams Little Bears”. We would like to thank the group for their contribution to the centre. It was such a wonderful and enjoyable experience and we definitely learned a lot from them! Thanks for sharing your time, ideas, and laughers with us. Looking forward for another group to visit! Hugs and kisses from BSBCC team!