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Text by Khushalinie Kalayarasu
Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
Having volunteered before at BSBCC in August 2016, I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to relive this experience once again to advance a good cause in the name of wildlife conservation. My journey continued when I was exposed to the daily operations and the importance of management at running the centre. I quickly recalled the ultimate goal of the conservation centre was to rehabilitate any rescued endangered Bornean sun bears with the hopes of releasing them back into the wild one day.
Despite a short lived 2 weeks experience, it was an unforgettable and enjoyable experience. Some tasks were unfamiliar, but others had a feeling of déjà vu especially the part where I was able to recognize some of the bears, Amaco, Linggam and Simone which I had a privilege to work with previously. Even with certain tasks being physically challenging, I was able to persevere with the help and patience of the team. It was with their unwavering support that I had gained new knowledge and could perform procedures in an orderly manner. At every juncture of my doubt and query, everyone was also readily available to answer about the behaviours of the bears and clarify on some of the tasks.
On one lucky day, I even had the chance to observe and assist Dr Boon with a bear health check. It was truly insightful to observe the procedures she carried out. With my minimal experience in a clinical setting, I learned and understood that multiple aspects of the animal should be continuously monitored by the team without fail otherwise the bear would be in grave danger.
Reminiscing my previous experience at BSBCC, this conservation centre has come a long way. From having just one viewing platform, they have now expanded into a huge operation with 2 platforms, providing a better view of the bears to the public. The determination of the founder and staff in growing this centre shows persistent effort really bears fruition if pursued. A must have resilience in wildlife conservation which I hope to replicate in my own life.
On this experience alone, I have gained a valuable perspective on wildlife conservation and understood more about the amount of detailed effort which goes into the rehabilitation process. I owe this wonderful experience to the team at BSBCC. Everyone has been very friendly and pleasant, making BSBCC a place to remember! Special thanks to Dr Wong, Dr Boon, Pradeep, Jac, my buddy (Oliver) and every single one of the supportive team for their hospitality and invaluable wisdom. I envision to return on a third adventure soon, with a greater hunger for more.
Bear Claws High Five xx