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Mary the moon cake sun bear
Very cute sun bear baby photos.
SUN BEARS ARE PROTECTED BY LAW IN ALL RANGE COUNTRIES.
KEEPING SUN BEARS AS PETS IS A SERIOUS OFFENCE. YOU WILL BE FINE, IMPRESSION, AND CANE IF YOU DO SO!
September 12, 2011 was the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Cake festival in Chinese Lunar Calendar. I was informed by the Sabah Wildlife Department in the morning that the Wildlife Rescue Unit will sent a baby sun bear to us at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The rescue unit met us at the junction of Mile 32 of Sandakan Road to deliver the cub. Our team consisted of Wai Pak, Alex, Roshan and me. We left my house at 9 pm, when the neighbors were enjoying their BBQ Moon Cake Festival dinner under the full moon light on their porch.
The female sun bear cub, Mary, was surrendered by her owner from a small village near Ranau two days earlier. According to Mary's owner, Teresa, her husband and some friends went hunting on the night of June 17, 2011 in an oil palm plantation and "found" Mary at the forest edge. They capture her and brought her back home. The hunting party claimed they did not see the mother bear (do you believe it?). Mary was about 2-3 kg at that time. Teresa fed her with some milk (cow milk powder) the first day but stop giving her the milk because of her diarrhea problem. She was given a variety of fruits, rice, bread, honey, and some meat, but no milk in her diet.
Three months later Mary was sent to BSBCC. The first time I saw on Mary I immediately noticed her abnormal looking: she has a relatively mature look relative to her small size. Typically, young sun bear cubs have short and round muzzle. However, Mary has a relatively long and pointy muzzle. Her body was relatively short and small. The next day I weighed her: 8.25 kg. I also noticed that she walks and moves very slowly. Cub her age (estimated 6 months old) should be very agile, playful, and active. Mary is not. Mary also likes to suck her right hind foot like all bear cubs that I have come across. She also likes to seek human fingers and suck them one by one. In addition, Mary's coat is brown, instead of sleek black, also a sign of abnormality.
We suspect Mary's abnormal conditions (small body, slow movements, brown coat) are resulted from malnutrition and imbalance diet. She was also being confined in small cage that may restrict her growth. What Mary needs at her age was her mother's milk that rich in protein, fat, and other trace elements such as calcium, other minerals and vitamins, plus unlimited rooms for her body to grow. Without proper diet and sufficient space, Mary's growth was restricted and her development was disrupted.
Mary's relatively small body and slow movement may resulted from insufficient nutrients such as calcium in her diet and small space to grow in captivity.
I let Mary to suckle my finger to seek comfort. Suckling is an important part of bear cub development and growing process.Mary was given dog replacement milk formula and a variety of fruits and dog chow. She is house in a spacious cage. We hope she can catch up with growth under our care. In three weeks time we will integrate her with Fulung, another sun bear cub who is few months older then Mary. We hope both of these cubs can grow normally, healthily, and happily under the care of BSBCC.
Keeping sun bears as pets is a serious crime.
Please report to the authority if you see any illegal sun bears being kept as pets.
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