Text, Photo and Video by Chiew Lin May
A mother sun bear will defend and takes good care to protect her cubs from every disaster. Sun bear cubs depends and stay with their mum for about two years. Damai, the recently born 9 months old sun bear cub was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), which became an orphan sun bear cub without her mother’s care. Hence, our BSBCC staffs provide her amount of care. Damai is doing well and had learnt how to survive in these wildlife surroundings. It is difficult to justify how a sun bear will react to sustain survival of its life when encounterring predators. Predators of the sun bears include clouded leopards, reticulated pythons, other bears and humans.
During a walk with Damai in the Kabili – Sepilok Forest Reserve, Sabah, she encounter many “strangers”. Example, macaques, infant orang utan, dog, and various sound from the forest (branches fall sound, birds sound, Bornean Gibbon long call sound, macaques jumping between tree or call sound, another sun bear’s barking sound from BSBCC's bear house etc.)
What will Damai do and react when encounter with the “strangers”?
Damai will be alert to know where is the sound come from. Then, Damai will stand on hind legs to treaten “strangers” by looking bigger than the “strangers”. Aside from that, Damai will create barking and huffing sound which will frighten the “strangers". She also will show her sharp claws to their “strangers” to scare them away. Moreover, Damai will climb on trees to escape and continue barking, using barking as weapons. This definitely is a sign of aggressiveness and display a strong warning to the “strangers”!! If the animals do not harm and disturb Damai, she will just let them be there and occupy herself with her digging or foraging.
However, her real mother would have jumped in front of her to protect her from any sorts of danger or harm. This also serves as an important reminder that although sun bear cubs are adorable and cute but they need to face many challenges to survive. Please DO NOT kills their mother and keeps sun bear cubs as your PETS!!
Find out more by watching this short video and please help us spread the words and share this video.