Sun bear is a forgotten bear species. They are the least known bear and one of the least known large mammals in Southeast Asia until recently. I hope this blog can enlighten readers and open up discussions on how we could help this unfortunate but yet magnificent animal that we call “sun bear".
Special Moments with Mary, Ah Bui, Koko, Debbie, Fulung and Bongkud in the BSBCC Forest Enclosure Part 1
Date: June 26th 2013
Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by Gloria Ganang & Chiew Lin May
On June 11th, 2013 Ah Bui and Mary spent their first few moments of freedom roaming, exploring, and playing around the forest enclosure. The next day, they were joined by Debbie and Koko. Soon after, the four sun bears were united with Fulung and Bongkud in one forest enclosure. At first they were curious about all of the tall trees around them. Tall trees! NOT a cage!!
These 6 sub-adult sun bears are now spending a lot of their time exploring, roaming, digging, resting, climbing, and foraging for food in the forest enclosure. They interact with their new environment by using their strong keen senses to experience different smells and sounds in the forest.
Today, a dream became reality, and now these 6 sub-adult sun bears are confidently roaming and exploring in the forest. Once the door was opened, all of them went out into the forest immediately. They are extremely adventurous and already attempting to climb trees and logs. The bears are happily enjoying living amongst the tropical rainforest, each in their own special way. Ah Bui, likes to dig in the soil and search for food while others prefer to use their sharp canines to rip open trees and find their favourite snack. They rummage through the forest smelling around decayed wood and dead logs in search of any interesting insects and invertebrates.
When the bears are not spending their time resting or sunbathing on the forest canopy they are sharpening their tree climbing skills to help them catch termites and other forest invertebrates. They’ve also become good playmates and will play, chase, hang out, and climb trees together in the forest.
It brings great satisfaction to see the 6 young sun bears freely roaming in the forest enclosure. They’ve all made such great progress, and are beginning to take on characteristics and natural behaviours of wild sun bears. Adapting to the forest is not easy, but once they begin to explore, things will get better.
The sun bear is one of the most mysterious bears of the jungle, and plays such an important role in maintaining the ecosystem and equilibrium of the forest. Major threats to sun bear include habitat loss and poaching. Sun bears are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) aims to conserve sun bears through education, rehabilitation, and research with hopes to improve the welfare for captive orphan sun bears. Please help us spread the word!! Here are a couple of photos of Mary, Ah Bui, Koko and Debbie explore in the BSBCC forest enclosure.
Ah Bui (front) and Debbie (behind) was curious with the outside forest enclosure.
Fulung and Bongkud become the indicator for Mary, Ah Bui, Koko and Debbie out to fore
Ah Bui has very easily adapted to her new environment. She seems a very happy bear who is enjoy her freedom in the forest enclosure.
Mary loves to spends her time playing with her playmates and also busy in searching for her favorite termites and other forest invertebrates.
Debbie has a very strong personality and is always aware and curious of her new surroundings.
Koko loves playing around in the forest enclosure. She climbs the tree with Fulung.
They are enjoy their freedom in the forest enclosure !!
Ah Bui and Fulung were play together.
They climb like a wild sun bear in forest enclosure
Sun bears have great sense of smell.They spend most of their time foraging for food.
The long sharp claws and canines of the sun bear are handy for tearing open trees bark where insect and bee nests can be found and slurped up using their special long ton
Debbie is curious and usually pause to investigate something unfamiliar things around her. Her head up so she can see and smell.
They spend much of the day sunbathing or resting on the forest floor or trees.
They are tree climbers and spend most of their time amongst the branches.