KOTA KINABALU: The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) situated adjacent to the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre would be open to visitors from Jan 16.
Sabah Wildlife director Dr Laurentius Ambu said the BSBCC was established to protect and conserve, as well as create awareness among the public on the species that had become endangered as a result of the activities of poachers.
He said the sun bear which is also called honey bear was gazetted as a protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
The centre located on a 2.5 ha site was set up in 2008 on the initiative of the department with the cooperation of non-governmental organisation, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).
“It can accommodate up to 40 sun bears and there are presently 28, aged between one and a half years and 20 years. Seven of them are male,” he told reporters here today.
According to Laurentius, the department was in the process of resettling sun bears that had been surrendered by members of the public who had kept the animals as pets.
Meanwhile, BSBCC founder and CEO Wong Siew Te said the RM6 million centre was expected to be fully completed in May next year.
“Among the main sponsors in its construction were Sime Darby Foundation, Malaysian Tourism and Culture ministry and Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment ministry.
“The estimated annual expenditure to run the centre is RM900,000,” he said.