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This is a photo album of Cerah the sun bear since she was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department in July 2007. Her story is a typical story similar to hundreds if not thousands of caged sun bears sun bears kept as human's pets. Because sun bear cubs are small, cute, and harmless, and compounded with no shortage of baby sun bears as a results from bear poaching and habitat destruction, the keeping of sun bears as pets are not uncommon across Southeast Asia.
Cerah's early life was a sad one. Her mother was probably killed when she and Cerah wondering into oil palm plantation foraging for food as the natural forest that they used to live in was shrinking from logging and converting into oil palm plantation. The change made the natural food more and more difficult to find. Cerah was then captured and sold as pets, while her mother sold as meat, many of her body parts sold as traditional medicine and decorative items. We do not know how old was Cerah when she was captured. What we knew is that when this incident happen, Cerah was small, really small.
Cerah was considered a lucky caged bears in some ways. In Sabah and most of the SE Asia, sun bear is a fully protected species and the keeping of sun bear as pet is illegal. Neighbors of Cerah's owner reported the crime to the Wildlife Department. The department acted quickly by confiscated Cerah and brought Carah to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where all of the confiscated sun bears were housed by the department. This location later became Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
This is the story of Carah and me...