By Dr. Vicki Stokes -BSBCC volunteer; Photo: Dr. Vicki Stokes and Wai Pak Ng
On September 10, Toby the youngest bear at the centre was moved from the quarantine area to the new bear house. He immediately started exploring his new enclosure and was quick to climb and discover the basket bed. He was particularly interested in the bears in the adjacent enclosures, which is a good sign that he may socialise well with other bears. For the first night Toby was left in the enclosure on his own so that he could adjust to the surroundings before interacting with other bears. The next day he was introduced to the young bears Julaini and Ah Lun in the enclosure adjacent. Toby was quick to initiate interaction with Julaini, playfully climbing on his back and following him between enclosures, but Julaini was not interested. Toby was then introduced to Ah Lun, a young female and they really hit it off. They spent the remainder of the afternoon playing and tumbling. Ah Lun is about twice the size of Toby, but it did not deter Toby from wanting to play and interact, and being a good little climber he was quick to follow her around the enclosures. There were many funny moments when Toby toppled over when standing on his hind legs to spar with Ah Lun. He is still not quite strong and co-ordinated enough to balance on his hind legs, but he will quickly develop these skills now that he has other bears to play with. After an afternoon of play, the bears were pretty tired and retired to their beds for a nap after some food. The following morning, all three bears cuddled up together in a basket bed, followed by an afternoon spent playing. Toby is settling in really well to the bear house – he is exploring, climbing, eating well, resting and interacting nicely with the other bears, all important for his development into a confident and independent bear.