Have a question or comment? We welcome all enquiries, so please get in touch from any of the methods below:
Text and Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
Finally it’s Betung, Itam and Kipaku’s forest day out! After passing fence training, it is time for our three babies to be let out into the forest enclosure. The process started with letting them out individually first, then all together. Words cannot describe how excited we are to see them go out into the forest they deserve.
Kipaku was first to be let out alone in the forest enclosure. Our keepers placed a trail of his favorite foods on the ramp that lead into the forest. Once the guillotine door was opened, Kipaku was a little weary to exit at first but eventually followed the sweet smell of honey, peanut butter and marshmallows to the ramp. We watched in excitement as he started exploring his natural environment. However, he couldn’t help his curious self and got too close to the electric fence. Poor Kipaku got shocked and ran away grumbling and growling. He eventually calmed down but continued grumbling at the keepers. It was like he was complaining to them! Kipaku is naturally a forest lover – he loves to climb, dig and explore. He is a great explorer and show many natural bear behaviors.
Itam, compared to Kipaku and Betung, did not have the chance to be walked in forest as a cub so it took her a few days to build up the courage to exit the cage and go out into the enclosure. Eventually, we decided that she just needed a little support from her best friend Kipaku. Itam followed him and started copying everything he did! She would climb the same trees he would and dig where he dug. It is always a joy to see the friendship between these two bears. After a few days, we see Itam gaining the confidence to be the independent bear she should be in the forest. She, like Kipaku, also enjoys climbing, digging and exploring!
Betung absolutely loved being outside. She did not take long to go down to the forest ground and start exploring the enclosure. She was quite weary of the keepers observing her around the enclosure and wouldn’t come too close to the fence. However, she still enjoyed herself digging up bugs from dead logs and playing with the leaves on her own. She is always climbing up the highest and would stay up there playing with the tree branches and leaves. Betung is also a natural in the forest like her two other friends!
It was a fun sight to see all three being released together. Itam and Kipaku stuck close to each other with Itam never leaving Kipaku’s side. Betung, being the grumpy one, would get mad and bark at the other two when they would try to take her food. Eventually, they were all playing with each other in the forest enclosure. To give them this opportunity to be the bears they should be is very rewarding and a fulfilling feeling. Kukuton is still currently undergoing fence training but hopefully soon he can be united with the rest of the gang.
We would like to give a big thank you to Hasanah Foundation for their continuous support of our bear rehabilitation program. With this help Betung, Itam and Kipaku can finally enjoy their forest day out!