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Text and Photos by Siew Te Wong
Few weeks ago a group of 40 students and teachers from Karamunting Primary School (Sekolah Kebangsaan Karamunting), Sandakan, visited Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Wearing the typical white and dark blue school uniforms, the students have a great time visiting the two conservation centres and learned about sun bears and orangutans.
One of the activities that we did that day was to "lock" few volunteer students in a tiny sun bear cage , pretending that they were pet sun bears. That particular cage was used by a private owner to keep his pet sun bear for years. We asked them, "How did it feel to be lock up in this tiny cage for 5 min?" "Imagine some sun bears were being caged in this tiny space for more than 10 years!" They all went silent..
This field trip for sure was very educational and informative to the students from Karamunting Primary School. They not only see some real sun bears for the first time in their life but also learn a lot about their plights and the conservation issues. We hope we could raise sufficient fund soon so that we could build the visitor centre and bring these students to experience a better learning environment.