Betung, the Sun Bear - Two months progress

 Video by Chiew Lin May

Day 68: Betung growing up! Every sun bear has a different story. She has been deprived of a suitable living in the forest, an appropriate diet, and has been unable to behave as she would in the wild. She needs to go through a long rehabilitation process to restore her wild nature and recover where she had been stolen from. It is a tragedy to find a sun bear cub without its mother.

Bark bark hooray! It was such a delight to see her overcome her obstacles. She is simply AMAZING! Fortunately, she has shown tremendous growth in the last two months. She is a strong little bear and no doubt she made stronger by the love she has all around her! Thank you for your kindness, support, and love for Little Betung.

Her smile will definitely brighten up your day today! Help us give Betung the life she deserves. Please adopt Little Betung today at 
https://www.bsbcc.org.my/share-bear-a... ! With love and tender care, Betung soon becomes a strong little bear.

​Please help share Little Betung’s story and love with the world!

Kipaku’s 100th day at BSBCC

Text & Photos by Seng Yen Wah

Today is the day! The 100th days of Kipaku in the BSBCC.

Before Kipaku sent to BSBCC, Kipaku had been kept for three months at Kampung Kipaku, In Tambunan. His owner claimed that they found him in the forest fire site. Then, they surrendered Kipaku to Sabah Wildlife Department, and he finally arrived at BSBCC on the 18th of July, 2020. On his arrival, he weighed 7.1 kg. Now, his weight is 14.8kg!
One hundred days passed! Kipaku no longer the little cubs anymore. Yet, he just eight months old cub. He grows up with his size, strength and skills! Losing his mother at the same time, he lost his chance to learn from his mother. Under the rehabilitation of BSBCC, Kipaku is taking his second chance for his life. Kipaku carries his instinct and learns to be a real bear.

​Kipaku is a playful and curious bear. He is such a good explorer. He never let go anything that offered to him. The enrichments, tree branches, dead woods these all are his favourite toys to play! Using his canine, claws to bite and tear is encouraging him a natural bear behaviour. 

Kipaku is a forest lover. He loves to climb. There are no limits on how high he is able to climb. While on a tree, he gets his freedom; he explores every branch,, takes a nap on a branch and even crosses to another tree. There is nothing that bothers him when he stays up in the trees. All Sun Bears are excellent climbers. They climb for foraging beehives, resting and also to avoid predators. Kipaku’s climbing skills are excellent.

Digging might be his second favourite forest activity. When Kipaku is digging deep and foraging in the woods,he is searching for yummy snacks to fill up his small belly. Besides that, the small invertebrates he finds are the vital protein source for the bears. Kipaku’s foraging and digging skills are both excellent.

During his first days, Kipaku was introduced to a female cub, Itam,with the hope they would become friends. The first meeting was unpleasant. However their, friendship and bonding are growing day by day. During the day, he does not go out to the forest. He spends his time with Itam. Now, they cannot leave  each other! They  play fight with each other, rolling on the den floor, playing run-and-chase. They share everything, enrichment, food. Sometimes they may be growling at each other protecting their food, but only for a short moment. The next moment, they will be sleeping or playing together again. They are a lovely pair of  bears. 

The progress of Kipaku during his time at the BSBCC is excellent! However, he still needs more care until he can be released in the wild. Saving animals is not an easy task, but it does make a difference to the lives of the animals. Please support us, we cannot do it without you. 


A Story that Every Malaysian Should Tell

Text & Photos by Lee Min Yi

Living in a biodiversity hotspot named Malaysia, do we really know how many things we have taken for granted all this while? Let’s have a quick test: When you come across the word “bear”, what is the first image that appears in your mind? Most probably it is a polar bear, a grizzly bear or teddy bear. Before I  heard about this internship experience from my senior, I was not aware that the Bornean sun bear exists in Malaysia, the bear who knows how to climb trees and build nests. 
My journey starts with 4 extremely active puppies in Björn Hala, who welcomed me with their utmost excitement and  wagging tails. I still remember my first impression of the wooden house,standing  alone under a dark sky, looking  a tiny bit scary for a newcomer. It turned out to be the place that I missed the most after my internship ended, a room where I can sleep soundly, surrounded by the sound of nature. You will never get bored living in the house, even just walking around the house or looking through the window while washing the dishes, you can meet plenty of new friends :- puppies, cats, chickens and trees! As a person who has lived her whole life in the Peninsular of Malaysia, I have come across lots of new things here, from sunrise to sunset, from food to people, from animals to plants. I still see the same level of authenticity flourish in every single one of them. 

“So hey, how was your first day of work?” Well, the routine of work in the bear house is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and definitely requires a high amount of energy to accomplish the tasks and a clear coordination within the team is essential to get all the tasks done on time. My key takeaway from this routine  is to make sure you complete what you have started that day so that you can start the next day smoothly. Although only here for a month, I have tried not to take things in an autopilot mode, but to improve bit by bit on a daily basis, familiarising myself with each process and the purpose of it = for the welfare of the bears. When you focus more on things bigger than yourself, you will find joy and satisfaction from the smallest task you do everyday. 

I have also gained the knowledge and understanding towards wildlife conservation, especially the Bornean sun bears in Malaysia, from the job opportunities I can explore, to the challenges of making progress one step at a time. Some of the rescued sun bears in the centre have their own trauma, which in a way has  disabled their natural instinct for foraging for food and mating. Despite the bears’ fitness to return to the wild, we are still not confident  how long they could survive while poaching is still happening in Malaysia. However, when we take a closer look into what is behind poaching, more social issues such as poverty and quality education are revealed. When everything seems interconnected, people tend to close their eyes and ears as it seems too big to be solved in one day. It is undeniably a long and tough marathon which will not come to an end. That’s what makes all the baby steps matter :- start sharing knowledge with your immediate circle about sun bears. Only when more people have the common awareness of the importance to protect their wildlife can more action be initiated. 
Thank you to every single person I have met on this journey:-
Pradeep who has welcomed me on my first day of arrival after a long day of work and your openness in sharing your experience.
Wahwah who has been guiding us the whole time, explaining everything you know about sunbears to us patiently & passionately.
My buddy David who guided me whole-heartedly and shared all the moments you have had throughout your working life.
Lin May & Thye Lim who are always approachable, willing to listen to all my thoughts & to discuss them openly. 
Roger & Adneen who care about your learnings and well-being throughout the journey & who never tired of creating annoying moments!!
Dr. Wong who spared his precious time to answer all our questions and to show us around.
Dr. Boon for sharing her knowledge & experience in treating wild animals.
All the housemates in Björn Hala, Mizuno, Becca & Danny who make the house lively with conversations, food, humours and melodies.
My roomie, Jenny who makes my whole journey filled with laughter, adventures and fun. 
To anyone who loves nature and animals, come to BSBCC as a volunteer to create your own story. 
To all Malaysians, come and visit the BSBCC whenever you can and appreciate what we have in our land.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/9t5OLBKvao


Sun Bear Rehabilitation | Kipaku Climbing Strangler Fig Tree | BSBCC

Video by Chiew Lin May

Day 93: Being able to be an Arboreal bear!

Sun bear is the smallest and most arboreal bear. They have unique adaptions for their arboreal lifestyle: large paws, naked soles and long, curved claws that aid them in climbing trees. They spend most of their time in trees.

Little Kipaku is a very active sun bear who enjoys climbing trees. The first time he was taken to a strangler fig tree he climbed as high as he can- there is nothing like it! Just look at the cheeky look in his eyes!

You can read his full story on our blog https://www.bsbcc.org.my/bear-talk-blog/category/kipaku.html

Show some love by ADOPT Little Kipaku today and help us give him the life deserve here https://www.bsbcc.org.my/share-bear-adoption.html Every action helps enrich their lives.

Find us:
Website: http://www.bsbcc.com
Subscribe to the newsletter: http://www.bsbcc.org.my/newsletter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunbear.bsbcc
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bsbcc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BSBCC_Sunbear

What Can You Do in 30 days?

Text by Jenny Wong Jenn Ney
Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Min Yi and I from the Universiti Sains Malaysia were some of the first volunteers at the BSBCC. Our volunteer programme was cut short from 8 weeks to just a little over 5 weeks (30 days). It might be a brief amount of time to achieve anything. 

What can you do in 30 days? 

You could be a bear housekeeper who cleans the bear house, sweeping up enormous bear scats so that every cute little bear can have a pleasant place to sleep for the night.

You could be an engineer or architect who designs and builds some hammocks, treats or your own project, as enrichment so that every bear can have a little fun and would not feel left out in their own dens.

You could be a chef who helps cutting pumpkins, sweet potatoes, watermelons and papayas into suitable shapes so that every bear can gorge themselves on their kind of Michelin-star food.

You could be an expert in Bear Etiquette who knows their behaviours and biology including what to do and what not to do for their well-being.

You could be a nurse who helps with the medical examination of a bear, checking their wounds, pulse, teeth, X-ray and even taking “pawprints” to monitor the general health of bears. 

You could be an Animal Behaviourist (which is actually my favourite!) who closely observes and monitors every single movement of bears in a controlled environment, so that the data can be used to determine if the bears can get along with one another.

You could be a bookworm who immerses herself in the story of a man’s quest to save Bornean sun bears, Dr. Wong Siew Te the founder of BSBCC from the book “Saving Sun Bears” written by award-winning author Sarah Pye.

Most importantly, you could be an advocate to benefit and help wildlife conservationists for Bornean sun bears, the world’s smallest bears, whose lives may be on the brink of extinction in the next decades due to poaching, illegal pet trade and deforestation.