Natalie and Rungus – Finally Out In the Forest!!

Date: March 17th 2013

At the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), all confiscated orphaned sun bears arriving at the centre must undergo electric fence training before they can be released into the BSBCC’s forest enclosure. Entering the forest enclosure is a very important phase for these bears, as they take their first steps onto the forest floor, often after spending many years in cages.

Some of the bears may take only one day to enter the forest, whereas some may take one week and others one month or more before they put all four of their feet onto the soil.

On 5th March 2013, the door that connects our BSBCC bear house to the forest enclosure was opened to let the sub-adult sun bear group consisting of – Natalie, Rungus, Ah Lun and Julaini access to the forest.

As expected, the “Group Leader” Natalie was the first one to lead the group to explore the conditions around the newly opened door. However, none of the bears stepped foot into the forest on that first day.

The Group Leader – Natalie, the first one to lead the group to explore the conditions around the door.

On 7th March 2013, Natalie was still “checking” the surroundings by putting her front two feet outside the door. At times the bears were attracted to and curious about the macaques that were roaming near the forest enclosure.

Julaini (right), showing his long tongue and putting his front two feet outside the door.

The 12th March 2013 was the day that the BSBCC team members had been waiting for!!

10:28am: Rungus walking down the ramp to get the food and honey. Excitement, caution and curiosity were all displayed on Rungus’ face and in her movements.

Unexpected outcome, Rungus walking down the ramp and all four of her feet onto the soil.

She started to explore the surroundings by sniffing around, before heading straight inside the forest without even waiting for Natalie, Ah Lun and Julaini !!

Rungus, heading straight inside forest !!

2.30pm: The “Group Leader” Natalie, started to become confident enough to step outside again. She tried to get the food that was scattered around the forest enclosure. Slowly she stepped onto the forest floor, alert to everything surrounding her. Natalie found some dead wood just near to the open door and started digging into it for around ten minutes before going into the forest to meet with Rungus.

Natalie, slowly stepped outside to get the food.

Have a look at the photos to check out what Rungus and Natalie are doing on their first day out in the forest!!

First try into forest by “The Group Leader” – Natalie !!

Julaini (right), exploring the surrounding of the door.

Natalie, digging the soil on the first day step into BSBCC forest enclosure !!

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