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Text by Jasmine Stark
Photos by Jude Ailton George & Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
I came to BSBCC through my school, they sent me to have my internship here for five weeks. Since I started my school, all that I worked for was to be able to come here, I will be forever thankful towards my school and all the people at BSBCC for giving me this opportunity.
My time at BSBCC has been nothing short of incredible. I came here with little knowledge about sun bears and I will be leaving this place filled with new facts and experiences with this species. I am incredibly thankful for the bear keepers and other staff that I have gotten to know during this period. I will miss them and all the beautiful sun bears that I have cared for during my time here. I will definitely not forget Romolina and her peaceful sleeping in trees.
These five weeks have been filled with different tasks, challenges and opportunities. I have performed the usual husbandry tasks and maintenance tasks such as feeding bears, checking the fences and cleaning the enclosures. One of the larger challenges at the beginning might have been the leeches (!) since we don’t have those back in Sweden but I quickly got used to them. The experience here outweighs the challenge of those leeches by miles. Not only have I done these tasks, I have also taken with me a bunch of new enrichment ideas back to Sweden, and I have created multiple enrichments for the bears themselves such as “trisslott” and the smaller stick paradox enrichments. Thank you to my buddy Neal for making this experience even better!
I also got to take part of a health check in which I was allowed to clean paws and take temperature, I’ll never forget that close contact with the bear.
Experiencing the Kinabatangan River Cruise was a great activity on my off days, being able to see so many animals up close without disturbing them is a great way to observe the wildlife, I was lucky enough to spot the rare wrinkled hornbill!
I honestly lack words, this internship has been nothing short of amazing and I do not want to leave. I will never forget the work, the people or the sunbears, I am forever grateful!