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Text by Muhammad Faiz b Mohd Fikri
Photos by Seng Yen Wah
Hello, the name’s Muhammad Faiz Bin Mohd. Fikri or just Faiz and I am a vet student. My groupmates and I just finished our 2-week internship at BSBCC during our semester break in March. Along the course of our internship, we learned a lot of things and for the first time we were able to practice certain veterinary skills on field. We had the opportunity to conduct several procedures upon Kina (a suspected pregnant female bear) such as X-ray, ultrasound, health check, teeth scaling and we also recorded her body measurements. Dr Boon our resident vet also taught us how to do an internal parasite diagnostic test which is the faecal floatation procedure using fresh faeces we collected and also thin blood smear procedure. Luckily all the test results turns out to be negative!!! This is an indicator of how good the animal husbandry practice here.
All the activities we did were an eye-opening experience for me and it ignited my interest to become a wildlife veterinarian. All these are possible with the help of what I can call 'BSBCC family' where every member helps, nurture and educate each other in putting everything they can do in the best interest of the Bornean sun bear. Among the activities we did was preparing different types of enrichment for the sun bears which varies from food base enrichment to structural enrichment. We also did routine cleaning and feeding, fence checking, health assessment and so on. Interestingly, the diet of the bears here was luxurious with a vast variety of fruits and vegetables for the purpose of providing a wholesome diet.
Besides those activities, the other things that was done perfectly was the learning process or information transfer among the BSBCC team and also to the visitors and the volunteers like us. The information transfer process here really drew my attention as it made me realize the urgency of educating the public regarding the Bornean sun bear or any other wildlife. The most important resource you can employ to bring about change in this world is education. At the time being, it is very shocking for me that the Bornean sun bear is one of those least studied bear species. In short, what I can say is we need more of these establishments and more people with determination, passion, perseverance, and knowledge for a better world for both animals and humans.