A day with the Sandakan Tzu Chi Buddhist Merit Society children

Date: December 10th 2012

Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Dawn Serene Tukalan

It has been a rainy weather in Sandakan these few days. However it was lucky for the kids from the Sandakan Tzu Chi Buddhist Merit Society that they get to spend a sunny day doing fun activities at the BSBCC yesterday (9th Dec 2012). They arrived at 8.20 in the morning all excited and ready to see the sun bears. The kids stood in 4 lines according to their groups when we met them at the Seplilok car park.

Greetings from BSBCC

Introducing “uncle Wong”!

The kids were then divided into 2 groups before we guided them towards the BSBCC platform. Along the way, they were also thought about the importance of  the environment and a little appreciation and practice in reusing materials, such as the “Organic Bridge” which was built out of reclaimed Belian wood a.k.a. Bornean ironwood.

“You’re standing on an organic bridge!”

As we reached the platform, everyone was running everywhere, excited to meet the bears at their enclosure. They were welcomed by one of our bears, Kuamut resting on a log in the enclosure.

Say hi to Kuamut!

For most of the kids, it was their first time seeing a sun bear! Lucky for them that their first sight of a sun bear is in a natural forest and in good condition. Although these bears have unfortunate histories, but they  knew that they will have a much better future.

Next, it is time for  sun bear story with Wai Pak.

The types of bears of the world

Sun bears are meat eaters!

Paying attention to the sun bear story

Later, the kids for told to make “toys” for the sun bears. We had used cardboard, ginger leaves, peanut butter, honey and many kinds of local spices for the kids to spread on their handmade “toys”. This is to encourage the bears to tear the cardboard into pieces to get a taste of the ingredients .

A brief instructions on the process and procedure of
making “toys” for the sun bears.

She definitely wants to create the best toy for the bears!

This place has turned into a toy factory!

The end product!

Well done guys! these are amazing!

After the toy making activity, it was the end of their programme. Before they left, we took the opportunity to thank them for visiting us and made some enrichment for the bears to play with.

Thanks everybody! We’ll see you again next time!

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