Text and photos by Siew Te Wong
Time flies, Fulung the male sun bear cub that Sabah Wildlife Department rescued from Long Pasir last August is now more than a year old. Mary, the female sun bear cub that we rescued last September, also is a year old now. Both cubs, or "yearlings" by now they should be called, require a lot of exercises such as biting, climbing and digging and everything that you can think of to grow big and strong. After several months under our care, both of them grow bigger and strong, especially Mary.
Mary used be a lot smaller than Fulung. When we placed them together for the first time, Fulung used to me much more bigger than Mary. Fulung used to be the big bully but Mary always tried her best to fight back. Well, not really fight but play fight. Sometime we have to intervene the play fight when Mary started to be annoyed by the big bully Fulung. After all, the sun bear style play fights can be rough and damaging.
Sun bear cubs have a period where they grow very fast, typically when they are 5 to 10 months when they can gain 3-4 kg each month. Mary too, was no exception. During the first time when we mixed Mary and Fulung together Mary was about half the size of Fulung. Now after 4 months Mary caught up with her growth and reaches only slightly smaller than Fulung.
A photo worth a thousand words. Here are photos of Mary and Fulung I took during a 3 min play fight.
*Warning* Cute sun bear cub photos! DO NOT KEEP SUN BEAR CUBS AS PETS!