Text and photo by Tee Thye Lim
"Is the Koala a bear species?''
Asked our Project Manager, Wai Pak to the primary school students of SK. St. Gabriel who visited our centre on the 23 Oct 2012.
"Yes, because it looks like a bear!''
A little girl raised up her hand and answered.
"No! Koala is not a bear!"
A little boy refuted from the opposite side. The argument continued for about 3 minutes until Wai Pak announced the answer.
"No, Koala is not a bear species, it is a type of the Marsupial, same family with the kangaroos" said Wai Pak.
Most of the kids have an idea of a sun bear. They've seen it on TV programmes, perhaps on the internet, however not in a natural environment.
Some of them also mentioned about the local TV programme, TV3 which aired a documentary about BSBCC last week end: <Sunshine in Sepilok: Tales of the Bornean Sun Bears>
Later, knowing that they were about to see real, life Bornean sun bears, the smallest among the smallest of the bears in the world, the kids couldn't wait.
The SK St. Gabriel students at first did not see the Sun Bears roaming at the visible spot.
Fortunately, they were able to join the second group of visitors on that day which was the students of the American International School of Hong Kong, guided by the Animal Projects & Environmental Education (APE) Malaysia team.
This time everyone was able to spot the sun bears. More excitingly, sun bears climbing the trees!
At the end of the visit, SK. St. Gabriel presented a drawing to BSBCC. It was inspiring! Thank you so much!
Also, many thanks to APE Malaysia team for your donations! Not forgetting the hessian sacks you brought us. The bears will definitely love rubbing themselves on them!
Lastly and most importantly, thank you for sparing time and efforts to visit our Centre. It was such a great opportunity for us to share the needs of this small small bear species!