Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah
“We always hope this is the last bear taken from the wild and then it happens again; more efforts are needed to STOP this from happening”
A four months old female sun bear cub, Romolina was kept as a pet in a small cage for about three months until a person got knowledge of her and quickly rescued her from a villager by negotiating with them to hand over the bear. The owner claims that he had found the bear cub at forest alone and took her home then kept her as a pet at Kampung Romol, Sapulut, in the interior division of Sabah. Romolina (Rescue No.58) was handed-over to the Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to BSBCC today (7th July 2018).
As it is always with sun bears that young, she has been stolen from her mother as a cub and kept as illegal pet that lived her life locked up in tiny cage. We are not sure exactly what happened to Romolina’s mother, but we know a mother would not abandon her baby alone in the forest. She is now safe in our care and will go through routine quarantine. She will be given a full medical checkup. Thankfully she was rescued, and we are thankful to the responsible person who saved her life.
This is the second orphaned sun bear that was rescued in 2018 and given into our care. Sun bears are under serious threat in the wild. This is worrying as it shows that poaching is still happening out there with the rampant sale of sun bears as pets or illegal bear bile medicine, and this will bring sun bears on the brink of extinction soon.
Please remember that a sun bears should never be been taken away from their mothers in the wild and kept as illegal pets. We need to continue our fight for the survival of this species by ending the cruel demand for bear parts, and by strengthening wildlife laws and enforcement. Let’s PROTECT them, before it is too late!