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Text by Jungle Bob - Bear Action Teams (BATs)
Well, it’s been a few weeks since we had any updates from the Bear House and the BSBCC project in Sepilok. So, let’s get up to speed.
‘Suria’ has a ‘poorly’ paw and is confined to ‘quarters’ whist it repairs itself. Doc Cecillia has been in attendance and prescribed antibiotics.
‘Manis’ is doing well but has decided she doesn’t actually like other bears, she much prefers humans, especially Wai Pak (if anyone out there does understand the workings of the female brain, answers on a post card please). She has been taking some time out to check out her birthing pen and seems to like it. She is under constant surveillance at the moment which smacks of voyeurism but is a necessary evil.
All the other bears are fit and well and enjoying a brief respite from the commotion of bagpipes and sweaty volunteers. Not for long though!
The Bear House is advancing well with the floor level completed and the first floor columns being poured right now. We are hoping to get them all in and set before ‘Hari Raya’ so that we can get on with the roof after it. It really does look like a building now and is very exciting.
The plants on the Scots wall are clinging to life and will, hopefully, soon help it to look more natural and to blend in. Hadrian would have been proud of this wall!
Camps International are due in soon to help us to create a Biogas Digester (if you don’t know what that is then check it on the internet or speak to Ian!)
Raleigh has done a great job in the enclosure and has dug a trench around the whole circumference so that we can install our secret weapon. The Portcullis! This is basically an underground fence designed to stop the bears digging their way out once they are free to roam in the forest enclosures. Digging trenches in the jungle is probably one of the most unglamorous and backbreaking jobs so well done guys.
Whilst we are singing Raleigh’s praises, here is one more significant advance they have completed. The jungle camp is now operational and will be used by their first ‘guests’ when Camps Borneo move in there on the 20th of this month.
We are all looking forward to the next Raleigh invasion and further advances on the enclosure. It is our intention to have the enclosure ‘on line’ as the Bear House is complete and have the bears ready to take a stroll in the woods.
Bob Renshaw has kindly donated a couple of his days (plus his three hundred years of experience-yep, he really is that old!!) to come down later this week and conduct a full survey for the boardwalk and bridge which will, in time, bring our visitors into the centre. Well done Bob.
Donations from previous BATS (Bear Action Team’s volunteers) have been promised and t’shirt sales are bringing in a little bit more cash. Thanks guys, every little bit helps.
New BATS - I am currently talking to a scientific group from New Zealand who are willing to put their backs into a bit of hard work and we have recently had visits from the project managers of World Challenge Expeditions (UK)- (Jen Mullier) and Dragon Fly Hong Kong- (Adula) who are promising further volunteers for later this year and the beginning of 2010. As I tell every group “each day you work for us is a day we don’t have to pay a contractor”
Thanks to the previous BATS, every one of you is a star!