Bear Essentials

Date: July 30th 2015

Text by Warren Timms (Volunteer)
Photos by Chiew Lin May

Part of the volunteering program at BSBCC includes enrichment projects for the sun bears. These projects involve the volunteers and staff participating in basic tasks like making mixed fruit ice blocks and bamboo tubes packed with bear treats along with more challenging construction projects like making and installing bear hammocks and designing and building climbing structures for the bears. These were done between afternoon food preparation and feeding. The staff at BSBCC are very helpful and always consider the safety of the bears and the volunteers a priority as can be witnessed in one of Thye Lim’s animated briefings. Enrichment is an important and essential part of the conservation work at BSBCC so each day there will be some form of enrichment for the bears. It is really quite satisfying to watch as the bears try out a new hammock for the first time or try to get at some tasty fruit stuffed inside a Kong.

Staff and volunteers assembling “bear hammocks” as part of a construction project to provide stimulation for the bears whilst in their enclosures.

Volunteers busy cleaning the assembled “bear hammocks” in preparation for hanging in the enclosures.

Enrichment projects at BSBCC are always carried out with minimal environmental impact. There is always a preference to use or re-use sustainably sourced materials where practicable and to reduce waste. This helps to reduce operating costs which will benefit the bears in the long term.

Volunteers leveling the ground in an outdoor pen in preparation for the construction project.

Installing stabilisers into the upright posts. Three of these posts will support the triangular bear hammock.

The staff at BSBCC and the volunteer program facilitator are always on hand to help out and to provide guidance with the enrichment projects. It’s great when everyone is working together to make something that the bears can enjoy.

Staff assisting with the hanging of the “bear hammock” in the outdoor pen

Staff and volunteers on the finished product!!!

No comments: