By Paul Clenton
I had to make my own “bear” to show the audience. Damn those CITES busy-bodies! (the t-shirt was made by a local woman who gave it to me when I got back from Sabah).
I’ve been back in the UK a while now and recently got the opportunity to talk to some local people about sun bears and the BSBCC. I was asked by some local people whom I’d spoken to before if I could do a talk at the local village hall.
As preparation I made a couple of slideshows and downloaded some video clips from the net. I also made some posters to put up on local community noticeboards, I also made a plywood sillouette of a sun bear to give a “presence” when called for. I managed to beg the use of the local community centre off the powers-that-be and even convinced a local priest to lend me a projector.
The evening went well. Although the venue was hardly packed, money was raised which can pay for some keepers’ wages, bear food or put towards the development of the BSBCC. Moreover, I was approached by several people at the end who told me how much they enjoyed and appreciated the evening and went on to say that they would ask organisations they were involved with. I currently have 2 groups who would like me to do talks for them in the coming months.
It has been a very meaningful and rewarding experience to take a basic will to help and essentially make something out of nothing. I am by no means an expert at this, but practise hopefully makes perfect. Why not have a go yourself, starting in your own area? Anyone can do this. We can all do something to help the sun bears, and letting the world know they exist is a good start.