While the holiday mood for the New Year remaining strong, Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit already underway their new rescue mission of a sun bear cub on Jan 6th. The sun bear cub was sent to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre the following day after a preliminary health check at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park near the state capital Kota Kinabalu. What would be a better way to the start the new year than rescuing a poor sun bear cub from imprisonment in a small metal cage?
We have not yet fully understood the story of this latest new female sun bear cub. We name her Debbie. Debbie is about 6-8 months old base on her size. From her documentation that we received from Sabah Wildlife Department, she was purchased by a Chinese guy from Tuaran and was surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit. We need to do find out the whole story of Debbie soon.
After a long 7 hours on the road from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit finally arrived at BSBCC with Debbie at 6:30 pm. Unlike other sun bear cub we rescued in the past, Debbie was an aggressive sun bear cub. She was barking at everyone when we tried to carry her in the transportation cage to her new home. This aggressiveness can only mean two things: she was wild caught and being in captivity for relatively short period, and the new environment and new people she encountered was very stressful on her. Debbie was one of very few sun bear cub that I did not dare to let her suckle my finger (as finger sucking calm down a stressful sun bear cub).
Nonetheless she immediately explored her new den with many climbing structures right after she was released from her transportation cage into her den. Her movement was agile and energetic. This was a good sign for healthy and strong. She had a very special chest marking. A friend in facebook said at the first glance it looked like a “Y.” Second it looked like a rooster standing and finally it looked like smoke coming out of a potion bottle! We gave her some electrolyte water to overcome her dehydration during the journey and she drunk it all in one go. She did not eat the food that we gave her probably due to the stressful journey and new environment.
Dear little Debbie, we are glad that Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit managed to rescued you and sent you to BSBCC to take care of you. However, we certainly understand that you have been through a tragic early start and all the bad things that human did to you and your mother. Here in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, our mission is to conserve sun bear through improving animal welfare, raising conservation awareness with education, conducting research, and rehabilitating the sun bear cubs like you who have the chance to return your life in the forest! Little Debbie, we will do our very best to take good care of you!