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Text and Photos by Jacquelyn Jill Jepiuh
It has been officially more than a month that Rudy has been a resident at BSBCC! A little bit about Rudy’s origins – she was kept as an illegal pet in Papar and was then confiscated and handed over to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in March 2021. When she was first found, she was anxious but generally in good health. After over a year with LKWP, she was transferred to BSBCC for rehabilitation purposes. Since the day she was confiscated, she has never had the experience of a forest enclosure. And since she has not undergone any fence training yet, we decided to bring the forest enclosure to her!
Rudy upon arrival was quiet, shy and weary of her surroundings. Her true colors came out at night as seen on CCTV footage. When her keepers were not around, she was actually a ball of energy! She especially enjoyed the dead logs, leaves and furniture that was placed in her cage and was seen destroying everything throughout the night. We were all surprised by what her little body could do. She’s a hulk in a little bear body!
In the mornings when her keepers would come in, it is always a mess in her den. Furnitures turned over, logs all in tiny pieces like she turned the whole room upside down. As naughty as she is, we are so happy to see her enjoy herself and cleaning up after her doesn’t seem like a chore. Especially when she gives the cutest sleepy face the next morning.
Her first few weeks here she was very picky with the new food items served to her at BSBCC. It took some time as some food items she would think were toys and instead of eating them she would just destroy and play with them. Eventually, she got used to these foods and we noticed that some of her new favorites are pineapples and sweet potato. Her least favorite would be tomatoes, which are always
left untouched and swept to the side of the cage.
One thing we noticed about her is that she is not the most confident climber and doesn’t really enjoy hammocks. Her keepers would encourage her to climb more by placing her food high up in the hammock or platform. Remarkable Rudy knew to use other logs from below to push these foods off the high ground. Eventually, she would climb up to push the food off herself or eat the foods while hanging like a bat from the top of the cage.
Rudy has now settled in very well into BSBCC and she is very comfortable to show her true self in front of her keepers. She would easily get excited over new things in her cage and would randomly get the zoomies. She is rambunctious, random, restless and remarkable. Thank you to Rudy’s keepers constantly teaching her the natural behaviors a bear should have. With her progress now, we are confident that she will be able to learn these behaviors and will definitely enjoy when she’s able to be released to the forest enclosure.