On the morning of January 19, the staff from the Wildlife Department sent in a new bear to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Her name is Kuamut. She is a sub adult female sun bear captured in Kuamut area, a village near to Kinabatangan River in Sabah. Kuamut is another unfortunate sun bear that share similar story with other caged bears. She was kept as a pet as a small cub, with her mother probably being killed by poachers. When her size was getting bigger, stronger and more dangerous, the owner decided not to keep her any longer. The owner released her back to the forest (luckily not slaughter her for her body parts) but she kept coming back to the village because she was habituated to people and associated human with food. At the end, the villagers contacted the wildlife department, who confiscated the bear and sent her to our centre.
She was kept inside a small iron cage when she arrived, slightly skinny but in good health. We were so shocked to see she had a long-thick chain on her neck! She was pacing non-stopped, and extremely stressful. The chain was dragged inside the iron cage, made a very uncomfortable noise to everybody and the bear. I am sure the bear’s feeling was even worst!
Kuamut is sure an unlucky bear sun bear but lucky enough to sent to us at BSBCC. With her age, size and habituated behavior, she could be easily killed by poachers and angry villagers who concern their safety! She should not be released to a forest that is near to human settlement in the first place. Hopefully, she can accommodate herself very soon in our center and gone through the rehabilitation process.
There were two chains put on her neck! I believe she was wearing these since she was a baby. No body dares to chain her when she was in this size.
We named this 26kg bear as Kuamut, to remember the village where she came from. Hopefully, she can have a more comfortable place to stay in the very soon. With no chain on her neck, she soon will live like other bears in our center. Once our new bear house is finished, we hope she can enjoy the forest once more with better quality of life. We hope one day she could be a candidate to be rehabilitate into the wild again. Let hope for that!