Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim
Students from the School of International Tropical Forestry (SITF) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) visited the BSBCC yesterday (5th May 2012). UMS campus is based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The group comprise of 42 undergraduate students and accompanied by 2 lecturers. It was the first time that the BSBCC had a visit from the local university.
The visit began with an introduction about the centre by our CEO, Mr. Wong Siew Te and followed by a tour around the forest enclosure for a closer look at the bears.
Wong introducing the centre to the students
They were also given a brief talk about the characteristics, behavior and threats of sun bears by our Project Manager, Wai Pak. We also explained to the students about the history and operation of the centre. There were a lot of concerns from the students about the rehabilitation of sun bears. Since the SITF students were on their Zoology and Wildlife Management subject field trip, it was a great opportunity for us to promote awareness about the vulnerability of sun bears specifically in Borneo.
Wai Pak sharing information on the centre and sun bears.
Most of the students have never seen a sun bear before. They were fascinated even after a glimpse of the sun bears foraging in the enclosure. Since our platform was still in the process of completion, the students had a closer view of the sun bears from the feeding platform. They also get to observe a breathtaking behavior of Keningau, a female adult bear climbing a tree in the enclosure.
Students observing sun bears from the feeding platform
Their visit was such an inspiration for us to reach out to the local institutes. We hope that their visitation to our centre would help them gain more knowledge and spread the message of the needs to protect and conserve the sun bears in our region. The BSBCC will be honored to welcome more visitors from the local institutions in the future.
UMS students with Wong and BSBCC staffs