Sweet, Chin starts to enjoy life

Date: October 25th 2014

Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May

Chin finished her quarantine period and was moved to bear house where she will start her brand new life!

Chin, a 13 year old adult female sun bear arrived to BSBCC from Lok Kawi Wildlife Zoo on July 22, 2014. Chin was rescued from the primary school’s mini zoo in Tawau, a town in the southeast region of Sabah. We are happy to report that Chin has successfully completed the quarantine period and has been moved into the bear house to live with other bears her age.  On October 20, 2014 two veterinarians from the Sabah Wildlife Department, Dr. Laura Benedict and Dr. Timothy Fong, teamed up with our sun bear team to help in the moving process.

After the sedation procedure, Chin was carried out of her den and put into the transportation trolley. The trolley then moved Chin from the quarantine area to the bear house. Every bear that is being moved undergoes routine check-ups during the transport. Chin’s weight, blood, and hair samples were tested to ensure general health and organ functionality. She weighed in at 35kg and showed a bit of hair loss on both forelimbs. Dr. Laura suggested that Chin take a supplement to help her adjust.

While under sedation she was weighed.

The first step to her freedom was to move Chin from the quarantine which requires a general anesthetic and a transfer trolley to her new home situated at bear house.

Reached bear house!

Dr. Laura and Dr. Timothy conducted a full physical exam and collect any samples needed for health and genetics. This include collecting blood samples,hair samples, dental records, and growth measurements.

Finally, when all the checks have been performed and recorded. Chin is gently put in her new cages.The bears in the bear house took interest in her.

The bears in the bear house took interest in her right away; however Chin seemed a bit displeased upon awaking from the sedation. She barked, growled, and showed a bit of aggression once she began to hear and smell the other bears.

Growls for strange sound and people!

Over the next few days she began to settle into her new home at the bear house, but remained alert to her neighbours. Chin is very attentive and watches with curiosity and interest at the world going by. She is still exploring her new space and enjoys climbing around the cages while she adapts to her new home.

Enjoying new facility.

Food hidden in Aussie Dog Ball. This will encourage Chin to spend time searching for extracting her food.

Chin now has a brand new life free of fear and pain. The next step for Chin is she will be access in a pristine forest where she can climb high in the trees, forage for grubs, and socialize with other bears. This new lifestyle is just one step in the direction of becoming a wild sun bear.

Be on the lookout for future updates on the progress of Chin. We look forward to the day when she can be introduced to the rest of the adult female sun bears.

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