Damai, Into the Forest Enclosure!

Date: June 12th 2014

Text and  Photo Chiew Lin May

Look who is moving on up! In June this year, something exciting happened in the forest. Damai, a beautiful two-years-old sub adult female sun bear with black eyes full of curiosity and energy is finally stepped onto the forest floor on last week 3rd June 2014.

Damai peeks out!

Slowly take time to coming out a bit.

Damai takes a brave steps towards the new forest enclosure.

Finally all the way out!

Currently, Damai shares her enclosure with six other sun bears, namely Mary, Debbie, Koko, Ah Bui, Fulung and Bongkud. It was observed that once Damai was out in the forest enclosure, she tried to avoid the other bear friends. She ran, stood on her hind legs and kept growling, this might be due to her fearfulness and insecurity in the new environment. The other bears were curious and puzzled, they seemed like “What happening to Damai?”  All of them, especially Koko tried to approach and sniff her. It took sometimes for Damai to feel more relaxed and began to explore the surroundings. The door of bear house will be kept open for one week so that Damai could go in and out as she wishes until she gains back her confidence and sense of security.

Meet with her new playmates in the forest enclosure. Debbie also checks out what happen to Damai…

First time came out to forest enclosure and start to ventured into her new environment.

Damai will growling and huffing when she feel not comfortable with other presence.

Sun bear is so comfortable and feel so secure in trees.

Better forest enclosure where Damai can build up the strength and skills she need to survive in the wild.

Damai is independent in nature. She knows what she wants and tries to take care of her own needs all by herself.  She seldom interacts with the other female playmates except for Fulung, the sub adult male bear. When the other female bears try to approach her, she will start growling, try not to have anything to do with them and walks off alone into the forest. It seems that the other five female bears have to be gentle with little Damai.

She likes to gaze up into the trees and into the sky.

Sniffing at a tree.

Great tree climber!

A sense of achievement! Here is hoping she gets the chance back to the place where she belong.

Hang out more where she belong…forest!

She looks down and see what other bears are doing…

New Home…

Little Damai climbs a tree for a better look.

Damai found her favorite food – Termites

It was a best place for Damai to take a midday nap.

Wonderful to see her climb!!

Such a big step for Damai to be out socializing.

It is glad to see that Damai’s playmate especially Fulung like to play fight with her.

Damai tends to use her front paws to chase away Koko from climbing the same tree with her.

Using her keen of smell, Damai also rip into dead wood looking for insects.

Up to date, once the door open, Damai will quickly go out to the forest and start her journey together with her friends.

But, sometimes naughty Koko will sit on the door and block the way for other bears to went out!

She getting into an energetic play mode.

When it comes to feeding time, the staffs scatter the food, Damai would usually be the last in line, while the other bears help themselves with the fruits first. Nevertheless, Damai is an excellent forager in the wild. Even with her small size, she would enthusiastically searching for insects and fruits in the forest enclosure.

She and her playmates are foraging together.

Damai foraged independently. She knows what she likes to eat especially termites and fruits.


Damai enjoy her first taste of freedom.

Damai enjoying her morning fruits.

Look what Fulung done! He just grabs the fruit from Damai.

Damai always try getting a scent of unknown and listening to any strange noises.

Standing up right on her hind limbs to check the surrounding area.

Sun bears got their name because of the cresent marking on their chest. Damai have the special half “U”shape.

Remember that when come to walking in the forest with the bear staffs, Damai behaves the same way as when she was first brought to walk in the forest at the age of five months. It is amazing to watch Damai getting back her freedom, foraging for food, roaming around the forest and in tune with the new surroundings. She never hesitates to climb trees as high as she could go and keep perfecting her arboreal skills. Damai likes to gaze up into the trees and into the sky. It stole our heart to know that she is still a wild sun bear. This is such an exciting moment!

See how much she grown into a wild bear and continue to show her wild behavior

Enjoy a happy and healthy Damai!!

Have a smile on her face!

Great enjoy freedom!

Sweetheart always!!

After spending hours in the forest observing Damai’s behaviour, we hope that after a few months, Damai will adapt herself with the life in the forest enclosure and with the other new bears. We are certain that one day Damai will be happy and live freely as a wild sun bear in the forest.

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