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Text by Tzea Sawchuk
Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh & Jude Ailton George
Hi I’m Tzea from Canada. I’m 56 years old, and when I had the opportunity to travel and volunteer, I was excited to be accepted for the Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Don’t let an amazing chance to help and learn about these magnificent Bears pass you by.
When volunteering here you will be paired with a Bear Keeper, Oliver was my Bear Keeper Buddy. I assisted him with daily tasks as assigned, like cleaning the bear enclosures, meal prep, perimeter checks, enrichment items and varies sundry duties. The work is very full filling since it is all for the bears. Each day I learned something new about the bears and the staff are always willing to answer any questions I had.
After seeing the bears each day, you can see the different personalities come through. The Bears are so endearing to watch. I was excited to assemble my enrichment idea with Oliver which was given to Itam. I was so excited to watch Itam climb on the log and find the hidden treats. It felt good to know that I was able to leave something to entertain her.
For me, my volunteer time was very satisfying and I’ve learned a new appreciation for these vulnerable little bears. I look forward to returning home to share the story of the Sun Bears and bring awareness and importance of protecting them. I want to share how people can help out even when they live far away.
For your volunteering choice, I highly recommend coming to Borneo to enrich the lives of the Sun Bears and yourself.