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Text by Batrisyia Binti Teepol
Photos by Seng Yen Wah, Chiew Lin May & Batrisyia Binti Teepol
Hi, I'm Batrisyia, I’m 21 years old and I was born and raised in Miri, Sarawak. By the time I'm writing this story, I'm about to enter my final year in Animal Resource Science and Management in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Applying as an intern in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is definitely a random process that turns out to be the best 10 weeks of my life. I think I was blessed and lucky enough to be given the opportunity to complete my internship in BSBCC.
First off, the centre itself is definitely well planned, from facilities to everyday tasks. Having the forest enclosures for the bears are definitely a bonus for this centre.
The run down to my everyday job is mostly animal husbandry which includes cleaning the cages, preparing food, feeding, making enrichments, fence checking, etc. Honestly, the jobs are quite physical but somehow I definitely enjoyed doing them. I think the most memorable time would have to be when we were looking for termite's nest (and made a quick stop getting ourselves wet), random maintenance works, and so much more. Dr. Wong also taught us a lot during our weekly volunteer session and I definitely gained so much input (forever grateful). Here in the centre I was exposed to a lot of new things, from hand sawing to visiting schools for outreach. Basically my communication skills and other soft skills definitely received an upgrade thanks to the opportunities I was given. The best part of my internship was probably the part where I was assigned to observe Nano and Noah for their integration with other bears. I am now even more intrigued in learning about bears (especially the smallest bear species)!
The bears, I can’t fathom how lucky I am to be able to learn about them, care for them and basically just being able to look at them. I personally think sun bears are beautiful and I do hope these rescued bears will be able to feel and enjoy the nature of their home, the forest.
All of the staffs here especially the ones in Bear Care Team are people that have touched my heart. Their sincerity and passion in helping the sun bears are definitely to be acknowledged. Working in conservation is a hard task but what I saw from working with them for the past 10 weeks was that they are all full of love and joy. Despite working so hard during the day, every day on the way back, everyone will always be full of laughter and happiness.
Thank you for all your guidance, help, mentor, kindness, hospitality, jokes, laughter, opportunities, love, and all of your presences. You all are beyond amazing! So much memories were made thus some more pictures to reminisce the time.