7/14/17

Unforgettable 2 weeks at the BSBCC

11/07/2017

Text by Chantal Jeffrey
Photos by Seng Yen Wah

My name is Chantal Jeffrey and I study a bachelor of animal ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia for which I completed two weeks of volunteer work at the BSBCC. Now, I won’t lie, it was tiring, hot work but let me tell you why it was so fulfilling and worthwhile.

Starting at the centre, I was welcomed by extremely lovely staff whose politeness and contagious happiness instantly struck me. All of the bear keepers, workers and other volunteers were informative, happy to help and answer all questions which benefited my learning experience. They were encouraging, bubbly and always smiling which really made me feel part of the BSBCC family.
I was shown the hard work and skills it takes to be a bear keeper and the immense dedication I witnessed, by all staff, to caring for the sun bears was truly inspirational. 

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Testing out the equipment for the bears.

​Daily jobs included food preparation and feeding for both indoor enclosures and forest pens, enclosure maintenance and cleaning as well as creating enrichment for the bears. I took part in making several different types of enrichment such as nest balls, stick paradox and ‘proposal day’, which all had the same concept; hiding peanut butter and/or honey within leaves or sticks so the bears needed to rip it open to get to their treat. Other enrichment included placing food around and on top of the enclosures to encourage the bears to climb, providing them with termite nests and placing logs and branches in enclosures for them to rip into. It was rewarding and an absolute joy watching the bears’ reactions and seeing them enjoy their enrichment.

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Whilst completing these jobs, I got to know some of the bears. They all have different personalities and characteristics, from the cheeky cubs ‘Nano’ and ‘Noah’ to the quiet ‘Kuamut’. All were beautiful and unique and working so closely with them was unreal.

As well as aiding in the animal welfare side of things, I was also sent to work on the viewing platforms. There, I communicated with tourists, introducing them to bears, educating them about sun bear morphology and ecology and ultimately, promoting awareness of the importance of their conservation. It was very satisfying, knowing that I was helping to spread the word about this incredible and beautiful species.

Working for the sun bears at the BSBCC was absolutely amazing and so rewarding. Despite only being two weeks, it was a truly unforgettable experience that left me with countless memories and I would go back and do it all again without hesitation.  

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This photo of myself (left) with my fellow USC student volunteer, Brittany Lang (right) and Dr Wong, was taken after one of the sessions where we were given the chance to ask him any questions, in person, which was incredibly interesting and educational.

The future of wildlife is in our hands!

8/7/2017

Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May

​Students from SMK Tunku are spent two days trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve to immerse themesleves in Borneo's unique biodiversity. They take part in a variety of activities including forest trekking, mud volcano, bird watching and meeting with difference conservation organisations from government and NGO to experience conservation first-hand.

We are very grateful that BSBCC was invited to join this talk. Our staff, Thye lim have deliver a talk about all the amazing work BSBCC has done for save sun bear, addresses the needs of local people to conserve this forgotten species and his concern for our forest and the wild animals we share it with.

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

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Students from SMK Tunku are spent two days trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve to immerse themesleves in Borneo's unique biodiversity. They take part in a variety of activities including forest trekking, mud volcano, bird watching and meeting with difference conservation organisations from government and NGO to experience conservation first-hand.

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Students from SMK Tunku are spent two days trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve to immerse themesleves in Borneo's unique biodiversity. They take part in a variety of activities including forest trekking, mud volcano, bird watching and meeting with difference conservation organisations from government and NGO to experience conservation first-hand.

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Students from SMK Tunku are spent two days trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve to immerse themesleves in Borneo's unique biodiversity. They take part in a variety of activities including forest trekking, mud volcano, bird watching and meeting with difference conservation organisations from government and NGO to experience conservation first-hand.

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Students from SMK Tunku are spent two days trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve to immerse themesleves in Borneo's unique biodiversity. They take part in a variety of activities including forest trekking, mud volcano, bird watching and meeting with difference conservation organisations from government and NGO to experience conservation first-hand.

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We are very grateful that BSBCC was invited to join this talk. Our staff, Thye lim have deliver a talk about all the amazing work BSBCC has done for save sun bear, addresses the needs of local people to conserve this forgotten species and his concern for our forest and the wild animals we share it with


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We are very grateful that BSBCC was invited to join this talk. Our staff, Thye lim have deliver a talk about all the amazing work BSBCC has done for save sun bear, addresses the needs of local people to conserve this forgotten species and his concern for our forest and the wild animals we share it with

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We are very grateful that BSBCC was invited to join this talk. Our staff, Thye lim have deliver a talk about all the amazing work BSBCC has done for save sun bear, addresses the needs of local people to conserve this forgotten species and his concern for our forest and the wild animals we share it with

Picture

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

Picture

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

Picture

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

Picture

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

Picture

It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The enthusiasm and energy from the students are great. It is very pleased to see they share and learn. Our hope is for children to understand the importance for wildlife and forests and they can be inspired to become conservationists of the future!!

Loki - the sun bear who never gave up!

7/7/2017

Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May

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When you look into the eyes of a rescued sun bear cub, the sad truth is that sun bears are in grave danger of extinction in the wild which is led by a decline in at least 30 percent of the sun bear population in the last three decades. Sun bears live in their natural habitat, they learn all of the basic skills needed to survive. Ongoing habitat loss, poaching and illegal pet trade continues to be the biggest threat to wild bear populations in Southeast Asia.

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On March 24, 2014, we received a rescued female sun bear cub –Loki. BSBCC Founder & CEO, Dr. Wong Siew Te handling the new rescue cub.

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Loki was emaciated and malnourished upon the arrival.

​Found in the backyard of an inn, where she had been illegally kept as pet. Her previous owner purchased her from a friend in Ranau, a town on the west coast of Sabah and named her “Ooi”. Instead of learning to be a sun bear, she had been caged, lonely, fed an inappropriate diet and exploited to fulfill human selfishness. Unfortunately, we do not know what happened to little Loki’s mother. This horrific life was all she had ever known. Loki was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department and sent to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) on March 24th, 2014. Loki is a very special sun bear cub and thanks to Steve Denim who is passionate about changing the life of captive sun bears by adopting her and named her “Loki” in memory of his cat that was struck by a car.

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Loki was saved and brought to her new home at the BSBCC. She was under quarantine and is being given around the clock care by our staff. Bear care team provide different type of natural enrichment. She practices her “wild bear skills” every day.

When she first arrived at BSBCC, her paws and canines appeared too big for her tiny body. Due to the emotional trauma that resulted from her being kept as a pet, she was very stressed, pacing and showing signs of malnutrition, dehydration and severe diarrhea. Raising a sun bear cub requires extensive round-the-clock care with a balanced diet which comprises of fruits and protein, and exercise to help her grow strong and build confidence! After a thorough checkup, she began the long but hopeful journey of care and rehabilitation. Without the comfort of her mother, she was still traumatized to feel safe. When she was alone, she paced a lot. 

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Loki was saved and brought to her new home at the BSBCC. She was under quarantine and is being given around the clock care by our staff. Bear care team provide different type of natural enrichment. She practices her “wild bear skills” every day.

​Little Loki is given different kinds of enrichment to improve her well-being by encouraging her to climb and exercise as much as possible. She lacked all of the basic forest skills. It did not look as if she was improving greatly over the first couple of weeks because she did not trust her care taker. However, things are going positive and Loki has grown to be happy and has become more comfortable when we introduce new bear friends to her. “The best enrichment for a bear is another bear” – Dr. Wong Siew Te (BSBCC Founder & CEO). They have built up a firm friendship that has lasted until this day! Every minute of every day, they love wrestling, play fighting and hanging out together. It was exciting to see her begin her new life with other bears! 

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Loki was saved and brought to her new home at the BSBCC. She was under quarantine and is being given around the clock care by our staff. Bear care team provide different type of natural enrichment. She practices her “wild bear skills” every day.

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Loki was saved and brought to her new home at the BSBCC. She was under quarantine and is being given around the clock care by our staff. Bear care team provide different type of natural enrichment. She practices her “wild bear skills” every day.

Loki and her friends have been moved from Quarantine to the Bear House for further rehabilitation process. We know that there will be a second chance for Loki – in large green tropical rainforests with  tall trees, as she goes digging for termites, climbing trees, sniffing for bee nests, enjoying the cool breeze, running around, and wrestled from the forest floor...like a wild bear! On December 5th, 2015 Loki was nervous in taking her first brave steps into a new environment after she spent a long time inside a cage. It was hard for Loki to imagine her life could change and be a free sun bear in the wild. She made her way over to dense vegetation and straight away learnt to live in the trees.

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On December 5th, 2015 Loki stepped foot into the forest for the first time! She is exciting new things that surround her.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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On April 21st, 2014 this was a special day for Loki as it was her first contact with another sun bear. Due to her emotional trauma she had when she first arrived at BSBCC, she is now a mischievous bear and loves her new companion.

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On April 21st, 2014 this was a special day for Loki as it was her first contact with another sun bear. Due to her emotional trauma she had when she first arrived at BSBCC, she is now a mischievous bear and loves her new companion.

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Loki was saved and brought to her new home at the BSBCC. She was under quarantine and is being given around the clock care by our staff. Bear care team provide different type of natural enrichment. She practices her “wild bear skills” every day.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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Loki using her long, curved claws and strong canines to pulling, biting and breaking off branches to builds a comfortable small tree nest.

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Loki using her long, curved claws and strong canines to pulling, biting and breaking off branches to builds a comfortable small tree nest.

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She start to put her past trauma behind her, free to fell the forest floor under her paws!

​For a three year old, sub adult female bear, Loki has made tremendous progress during her rehabilitation time at BSBCC. She is always enthusiastic about exploring new things around the forest and she proved to us that she is an exceptional tree climber and can build arboreal nests. She adores her forest and spends most of the time learning vital skills in the forest canopy with her playmates. She has acquired many of the survival skills that she needs in order to survive in the wild!

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

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It was pleasure to see Loki adapted quickly to her new forest. She loves to forage for wild food such as termites and invertebrates. She spent a great deal time climbing, resting, playing with branches on tree canopy and play fight with friends. Loki is learning all the skills pertinent to survival in the wild.

We are so thrilled that little Loki is growing in confidence, active and an independent female bear. She was never able to experience learning survival skills with her mother, but at least she finds absolute delight with the good things in life. She is starting to put her past behind her and is learning to be a wild bear again. We hope Loki will one day be released back into the rainforest of Borneo where she belongs.

Oregon State University Visit




23/06/2017

This morning we welcome students from the Oregon State University, United States. BSBCC Founder and CEO, Dr. Wong delivered a talk on sun bears, how BSBCC was set up and BSBCC's achievements. Then, everyone went for an exclusive tour at the sun bear observation area guided by Dr. Wong himself. It was also our honor to welcome Dr. Wendy Erb, Fulbright Scholar and biological anthropologist and also Shanon Phang from the US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur to BSBCC. Thank you all for visiting us and we hope everyone had a wonderful time learning about the sun bears today!

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