The label reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." It worked for Paddington but can it work for the Sun Bear of Borneo?
You may not have heard of the Sun Bear. They are the smallest of all species of bear, they like to live in trees, and yes, they do eat honey. Their existence is being threatened by loss of habitat through deforestation, poaching and uses in Asian medicine. So, some people in Borneo have said enough is enough. In 2008, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) was born. In August 2012, Kevin Albin who runs a trekking and expedition company, Let Loose with Adventure, will be leading a group to work at the Centre to continue this work.
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre was created by a group of people who wanted to help the bears including Siew Te Wong who has been studying them for a number of years. The Centre aims to provide care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and captive sun bears as well as addressing the lack of knowledge and awareness. They are getting ready to open to the public by building public access into the forest such as walk ways and observation platforms.
Kevin Albin received the Bronze in the World Guide Awards in 2011 and will be donating his winning bursary to the project. "This is a great opportunity to help a little known and very cute bear," said Kevin who is looking for people to join him. Those working at the sanctuary will have a 'behind the scenes' opportunity to see the bears, their care, feeding and play time. Participants will undergo jungle training as the work is in the rainforest and visit the orang-utans who have a sanctuary next door. The fifteen-day trip will finish with a light aircraft flight into remote forest and a trek to a village of the Kelabit tribe.
For more information, visit letloosewithadventure.com.