1/18/22

Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Visit to BSBCC

We were honored to receive a visit from the CEO of Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) or Sime Darby Foundation, Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, and a few of YSD Officers as a part of YSD’s visits to projects supported and funded by Yayasan Sime Darby in Sabah. YSD has been becoming the backbone of BSBCC since the early days of BSBCC and has supported BSBCC numerous times for the past few years.

The group's arrival at the Centre was warmly greeted by the Founder and CEO of BSBCC, Dr. Wong Siew Te, and the team. They were personally guided by Dr. Wong to watch the sun bears residing in BSBCC forest enclosures, filled with information sharing among the two sides. The YSD’s group was also brought to take a closer look and witness the daily routines in the bear houses and were guided to the new shop building afterward. The visit was finished by 5 pm.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which started in March 2020 hindered the entries of foreign visitors, bringing the tourism industry to a stop, thus affecting the Centre’s main revenue. Yayasan Sime Darby has spent a big amount of budget to fund the Centre’s operation and support it to go through a hard time. No words can describe how we are deeply grateful for the support given during the time. Thanks for everything Yayasan Sime Darby!




















1/17/22

Kukuton Comes To BSBCC

Text by Seng Yen Wah


Today is the first week of 2022 and we received a seven-year-old adult male sun bear named Kukuton from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. His arrival to BSBCC marks our 66th rescue bear since we started back in 2008.

Kukuton was illegally kept in Kampung Taginambur, Jalan Kota Belud - Ranau in Kota Belud, Sabah. The owner claimed that she was trying to protect him as his previous owner had the intention to sell him off to others but she was too busy managing her family which led to the delay of handing Kukuton over to the authorities. The decision to not immediately inform and hand him over to the authorities after keeping him illegally in a cage for four years; from 2015 to 2019 was against the law and the owner was brought to court. On 19 July 2021, she was found guilty for keeping a Bornean sun bear illegally and the court sentenced her with a fine of RM15,000 or four months in jail which was then settled with the owner paying the fine.

Today, Kukuton is in safe hands at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. He will undergo a one-month quarantine and receive comprehensive care under the Bear Care team. We will do our best and hope that he can leave his past behind, learn the skills of being a wild sun bear and prepare for the day for his return to the forest again.



Just bear in mind that it is illegal to keep a sun bear in captivity in Sabah. According to the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, the sun bear is a ‘Totally Protected’ species. Violation of the law will be punished with a fine of not less than RM50,000 and up to RM250,000 and a maximum of five years’ imprisonment.

Buying wild animals is creating an incentive to capture animals for profit. This usually leads to the killing of the mothers so that the young animals can be captured. When the buying demand stops, the killing will stop too. So, please avoid buying wildlife or any products that derives from wildlife. And if you see any illegal wildlife trade, please report the matter to the authorities immediately for action:

# Jabatan PERHILITAN Semenanjung Malaysia: 1-800-88-5151

# MYCAT Wildlife Crime Hotline: +6019 3564194

# Sarawak Forestry Corporation: +6019 8859996 & +6016 8565564

# Sabah Wildlife Department: 088-254767

For more updates on Kukuton, please continue to follow BSBCC on our social media platforms!


1/14/22

Crystal's Volunteer Story

Text by Ng Wei Ling

Photos by Ng Wei Ling, ​Mohd Salffazryean Suban Abdullah & Seng Yen Wah


Hello, I have always wanted to have a volunteer experience since I was little but never got the chance. Coming to BSBCC is my first volunteer experience and it turns out to be really great! When I first arrived at Björn Hala, it looks scary for me because I arrived at night and Björn Hala looks like a haunted wooden house without any lights. In fact, it held the warmest memories during my time there and the dogs there are such a good companion especially at night for a toilet trip.

For a city girl like me, it was really difficult to work in the forest with all the small animals like leaches, spiders and centipede and also a lot of insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants and many more weird looking insects which I do not know the name. I almost gave up after volunteering for a week but I am grateful that I did not. As I progressed through, I have gain knowledge and understanding towards wild life conservation and its challenges. The sad truth is that poaching is still happening not just in Malaysia but all around the world and there is no telling how long those rehabilitated bears could survive in the wild despite being trained and evaluated fit for the wild. On the other hand, human development (industrial and residential development) is not going to stop and there are not enough forest reserves left to release the bears. I can only hope that one day human and wildlife can co-exist.

So, before that, we do what we can to conserve. In the bear house, we prioritize the welfare of the bears. The routine work at the bear house in the morning is cleaning bear cages while after lunch we will make enrichment for the bears. I have learned to make some small enrichment but I prefer to build structure enrichment because small enrichment will have to deal with a lot of ants.





Whilst, structure enrichment is more exciting as it involved cutting, sawing, and drilling. Considering it as a life skill?



So, when I was asked to make an enrichment, I came up with an idea of building structure enrichment. I was not sure if the bears will like it but I got a lot of guidance from my buddy, David, and he also suggested to give it to Chin the bear. I was so glad that Chin like it and actually play with it.





Finally, I really appreciate and am thankful for the time that I have spent here working with bears and also all the bear house staffs who made my first volunteering experience amazing! At the end of my volunteering time, all the struggles was nothing when compared to the positive values and experiences that I have gained. 



12/11/21

Into The Blue

Written by Pradeep Aggi Gunasegaran

Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah


Ronnie or also known as Ronnie Boy is one of the forty-three residents Bornean Sun Bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). On the eventful night of 10th of March 2014, Ronnie Boy was among the five sun bears that were involved with the transfer activity from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to BSBCC. While the history of Ronnie Boy ending up with human beings is unknown, he spent approximately eight years of his life at a resort in Tawau with Diana, another rescued sun bear at BSBCC. The both of them spent the early part of their lives in a small concrete floored cage as they were exhibited to the resort’s visitors. The owner of the resort then decided to hand over both Ronnie Boy and Diana to Sabah Wildlife Department in July 2013 and they were housed in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for slightly more than seven months before the transfer activity was carried out.


Ronnie Boy was assumed to be eight years of age and he also appeared to be a physically healthy and muscular adult male Bornean Sun Bear. However, he was still subjected to a health check upon his arrival at BSBCC and he was diagnosed with a heart condition by the veterinarian. Due to that, extra care is given to ensure that Ronnie Boy gets the best diet possible under BSBCC’s care. He went from just merely eating fruits and rice to being fed with a variety of food from fruits, vegetable, egg, and many more to keep him healthy. Today, Ronnie Boy is 15 years of age, still healthy, muscular and looking charming with his pair of blue eyes.

Throughout the years of being under the care of BSBCC, Ronnie Boy has always been a calm adult male bear. Sun bears are solitary individuals in nature but he does not seem to be unfazed by the sight of other male bears nearby. He often spends his time relaxing in his den by sitting on the edge of the basket provided, clinging on to the bars with his forelimbs while resting his head against one of his forelimbs. Besides the basket, Ronnie Boy is also hooked on hammocks. He would lie down in his beloved hammock with his head resting on the edge. In that position, he would just observe keepers and volunteers who happen to walk pass by his den. While he is always in state of tranquility, he gets excited when environmental enrichment is provided to him. He does not get frustrated if the environmental enrichment is complex instead he would spends hours interacting with it.



Although Ronnie Boy is always calm in the bear house, he does have an issue that troubles him. For years, the bear care team has been trying to release Ronnie Boy into the forest but it has not been fruitful. Ronnie Boy is often afraid to take the steps out of the guillotine door into the forest enclosures. He is fearful of the outside world probably due to the condition he has been living in since young where he has only grown up to know concrete flooring and metal bars as his safe haven. We may be heading into the blue but for as long that Ronnie Boy is under the care of BSBCC, efforts will carried out for him to some day have his paws feeling the earth and grass while his body is soaked under the sunshine and rain. We hope that some day, Ronnie Boy will experience the world like any other wild Bornean Sun Bear!




11/22/21

Important milestone Luna is now Six Months Old

 Text & Photos by Seng Yen Wah


It’s a BIG day! Luna, our captive born sun bear cub is six months old today!


It is awesome to watch Luna growing up by hand-raising her from her day nine. Bringing Luna to the forest walk is a routine that allows her to learn forest skills. Every day, Luna walks into the forest happily, hops around, unable to conceal her excitement. It seems that she cannot wait for her daily forest adventure. From the beginning, Luna follows behind, and now, she will lead you to the path she wants to explore. She likes to stop and explore along the way! Luna has soil eating behaviour. She will dig into the soil and taste it. Luna loves to explore the forest by digging into the soil, hugging the trees, sniffing the forest floor, foraging for ants and letting the breeze embrace her.


It is awesome to watch Luna growing up by hand-raising her from her day nine. Bringing Luna to the forest walk is a routine that allows her to learn forest skills. Every day, Luna walks into the forest happily, hops around, unable to conceal her excitement. It seems that she cannot wait for her daily forest adventure. From the beginning, Luna follows behind, and now, she will lead you to the path she wants to explore. She likes to stop and explore along the way! Luna has soil eating behaviour. She will dig into the soil and taste it. Luna loves to explore the forest by digging into the soil, hugging the trees, sniffing the forest floor, foraging for ants and letting the breeze embrace her.





To encourage Luna to climb, the her keeper will climb trees with her. Slowly, she shows her skills as she grips the trees with her sharp claws, and now she can climb up a tree to more than seven meters high! In the forest, Luna would pick her favourite trees to explore. She climbs up the trees to the canopy using liana, by digging and tearing them. Sometimes she climbs and crosses to another tree too! But Luna seldom spends time resting in the trees.





At the end of the forest walk, the keepers will take her to the stream. At first, Luna was a little uncertain and nervous as she crossed the stream. She follows the stream at the side, and then she goes slowly further into the stream with her keeper. If Luna thinks the water is too deep for her, she will step back. She enjoys the water, but she always checks where is her keeper first so she can go further! Sometimes she does not want to play in the water and stays at the side of the stream and digs the soil or climbs up a tree.



Luna is a gentle yet playful bear cub. Her keeper provides her with different types of enrichment in her den to encourage her natural bear behaviour and fill her day. Luna is a contented bear cub. She loves to try everything new! However, when she sees the new enrichment for the first time, she will remain alert, and she will paw it to make sure the enrichment is fine and then explore it. Luna knows how to make good use of her time. A piece of deadwood can get her through a day! Luna likes to play with towels, and she will bring the towel to where she wants to sleep. When Luna is scared by a noise, she will hide in the basket or stay behind, but she will look around and check the surroundings.



​Time passed, Luna is six months old today. Luna is growing and learning the skills in the forest. She still has a long way to go, but it’s magical experience to see her being surprised and delighted to transform and behave as a wild sun bear. If you want to share your love for Luna, you can adopt her in our share bear adoption through our website, https://www.bsbcc.org.my/share-bear-adoption-thanksgiving-and-christmas-2021.html. You can help make a better future for Luna’s life!