Text and Photos by Marie Nikas
My name is Marie, from Australia. I have just completed 2 weeks of volunteering at BSBCC with my partner Warren. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center is located near Sepilok, about 20 km from Sandakan.
My 2 weeks there was really worthwhile, educational and I made a contribution by helping the staff at BSBCC in their amazing work in rehabilitating the wonderful bears in their care. Our work consisted of food preparation, feeding, cleaning bear enclosures, observation of integration and providing enrichment activities. The work is well paced and if you need help or are unsure of anything the staff are always willing to help and answer questions. Staff take the health and safety of both bears and volunteers very seriously so you are always well prepared and briefed before any activity.
The team, led by Wong, are wonderful. Their dedication, knowledge and expertise is clear to see and this is combined with great love for the bears and their desire to rehabilitate and eventually release them.
I enjoyed all the activities I was involved in and really enjoyed the chance to work closely with the bears, by the end of the 2 weeks I was beginning to understand a little bit about some of their personalities - which I really found interesting. Watching them on 'coconut days' is priceless.
I would definitely recommend volunteering at BSBCC to anyone who is interested in learning more about Sun Bears, the challenges they face and what we can do to help them. Thank you to everyone at BSBCC for allowing me the opportunity to witness and be part of your ongoing work, it was a