Text by Kelvin Chee Hon Yung (Intern Student)
Many enrichments can be prepared for the bears and one of the enrichment projects for me to do is the termite breeding. Yes! Is termites! I am breeding termites! Maybe it sounds wrong for many people as termites don’t have a good reputation among the public. However, every creature has their own function! In this case, termite mound is used as an enrichment for the bears as this is one of their favourites. Enrichment is very important to animals. It is a process to provide stimulating and challenging environments, objects, and activities for animals for them to demonstrate their species-typical behaviour and enhance their well being.
Giving termite mound to the bears may encourage their foraging behaviour. This behaviour is important for them to survive in the forest as well. We planted the empty containers near to our bear house so we can easily collect the termite mound. This enrichment is easily to do but the only problem is you must be patient for waiting the termites build their mound. It might takes a few weeks to months sometimes.
The method is simple. Just makes some holes around the container to allow the termites to get in, then put some wood debris and cardboard then dampen it till it’s wet but not soggy. Make some holes under the container too to drain the water. Last, install it tightly into the ground. We are hoping that this method can get some good result in the future for us to harvest the termites.