Last week I received an email entitled “sun bear”. I typically received a dozen or so emails with “sun bear” each week so I read the email with a normal sensation. However, my feeling was over the roof after I read it. I understand the confidentiality of personal emails that were sent to me. However, I would like to make an exception this time to share this email with all of you because this story raises a serious issue that I hope all readers should have be crystal clear after reading our blogs and knowing what we are trying to help sun bears:
NO! YOU CANNOT KEEP SUN BEAR AS PET!
Here is the email I received:
Dear Mrs Wong.
Alright, so i started browsing sites just looking at sun bears and I stumbled up yours about the conservation of wildlife that’s either endangered or protected. While watching the video about the Malaysian zoos that sell these animals illegally it got me intrigued. Basically, the just of this email is whether or not their is a legal way to gain possession of a Sun Bear as a pet. This bear is fascinating and in a few years I’d love to have one around. So while looking around I figured I would send an email and get a response.
This may seem odd or strange but I was planning on having some sort of “exotic” pet when the time comes around. Now, I don’t think of this as a prize, or something I can show off as a trophy. But merely an animal that can be nurtured in a loving and providing household.
So can it be done? Can a Sun Bear become a persons’ pet, or is it a strictly zoo animal?
I’d love to hear back
This is my reply to him:
Sorry for the late reply. Your email came to at a busy time.
Thank you for checking with me about the idea of getting a sun bear as pet. For your information, this is really a BAD idea trying to keep a sun bear as pet. It is wrong morally, socially, and legally. Sun bear is protected by law in every country within their range. Keeping or owning a sun bear without proper permit from the authority is illegal. On top of that, sun bear is a wildlife that is impossible to tame. At the end, the bear end up being locked up in metal cage performing all kind of crazy stereotypic behavior. This is a really sad, stressful, and pain for the bear, and the behavior of keeping a sun bear as pet is very sick and has to be condemn seriously. Please read my blog of the “captive sun bear series I, II, III” at http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/2008/06/.
In my career I have come across numerous pet sun bears in SE Asia. I consider myself very lucky as one of very few people in the world who is able to observe how sun bear live in the wild. However, I also am one of the few in the world who got to see so many “pet” sun bears, kept by so call “pet lovers”, that live in the condition that no word can describe how badly they were. The cause of this sick behavior, literary torture the bears at every second, was originated from the ill “animal loving” behavior, similar to what you plan to do. So if you ask me if it is a good idea to keep a sun bear as pet, my answer to you is “ABSOLUTELY NOT!”
As you can see our website, what we are trying to do at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is to rescue pet-caged sun bears from irresponsible and criminal bear owners. We have spent tremendous amount of efforts and resources to improve the living quality of these ex-pet bears and to help them. We are trying hard to fix the mess that these irresponsible, criminal, cool blooded bear owners have created. So if you are smart enough to see what we are trying to do, the answer is again an absolutely NOT A GOOD idea to keep sun bear as pet, and a sun bear CANNOT become a person’s pet, and it CANNOT be done! Period!
P/S: My gender is male, so please is Mr. Wong.