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Text by Sabine Bresser
Photos by Sabine Bresser & Chiew Lin May
We were informed by the Sabah Wildlife Department that, on March 11th, 2016 a four months old tiny sun bear cub was spotted in Forest Management Unit (FMU) 16, Pinangah, Telupid District. The cub was caught and brought to the main offices of the unit where it stayed overnight, appearing rather weak and therefore only given water until it was surrendered to the SWD the following day.
The cub was directly sent to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Zoo before being sent to BSBCC on the March 18th. The sun bear cub is a female and was given the name “Wawa” (Rescue Sun Bear No. 48) by the SWD official who drove the bear to Sepilok
Upon Wawa’s arrival BSBCC staff took a quick look at the cub to check its condition; and although Wawa was very likely afraid and exhausted after her 6 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu, she was feisty enough to bark at them – not once but three times. Wawa was quickly moved into the quarantine for it to rest and settle in. She is appearing weak and dehydrated.
We will never know what happened to Wawa mother but we do know that mother bear is unlikely to abandon their cub easily and so the BSBCC will take up the challenge to raise the little bear and teach it all it needs to know for a return to her natural habit once she is an adult sun bear.
The BSBCC would like to emphasize the fact, that keeping sun bears as pets is illegal, hunting sun bears is also illegal. Sun bears are important to the Malayan forests and wildlife, we should all treat them as the treasure they are.