BSBCC and our rescued Sun Bears


A new video by Samuel Tippetts about BSBCC and our rescued Sun Bears!

For more information, kindly visit our social medias and feel free to contact us!
· Website - www.bsbcc.org.my
· Facebook - Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)
· Instagram - @bsbcc | @wongsiewte (Founder of BSBCC)
· Youtube - @BSBCC
· Twitter - @BSBCC_SunBear
· Email - info.bsbcc@gmail.com | wongsiew@hotmail.com (Founder of BSBCC)


Life As A Bear


Text by Ummu ‘Atiyyah Mohamed Talhah
Photos by Chiew Lin May & Seng Yen Wah

My name is Ronnie, and this is my story of my life as a bear at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

I am one of 45 bear residents at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. There’s two other Ronnies in the centre, so sometimes they may refer to me as “Ronnie Boy” in order to not get confused. Who’s the other two? Well, one of them is Ronnie girl. She must be cute. The other Ronnie is also a “Ronnie Boy” but he’s actually a well-grown man, not a bear, working in the centre.

Sometimes I see the staff staring at me and observing me. Some say that I’m handsome. Some say that I look like a pit bull. They say that I have beautiful blue eyes that can be seen when the sunlight hits them. What I know is that I’m handsome and I have a muscular body. Calling me cute would definitely offend me. 

If you're not good at imagining how I look like, this picture should help.

By now you must be asking yourself, “Why is Ronnie here and not in the forest?”. Well, I was kept in a small concrete floor cage together with a friend, Diana at a resort in Tawau. We were kept to be displayed to the resort’s visitors and the small cage was my “home” for years. Luckily for both of us, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre rescued us in 2013 and I have been in good hands since then.

When I arrived at the centre.

I was diagnosed with heart problem by the vet during my medical checkup. The centre has been taking extra care of my diet to ensure a healthy and balanced is provided to me. My favourite fruit is definitely bananas! During fruiting season they would provide us with local fruits, which I love! However, I don’t really enjoy pumpkin. I would leave it and only eat them when I’m really hungry later on. One time, one of them gave me a pill millipede, which I guess is a food source for us sun bears? It smelled funny. I squashed it, left it and don’t even bother to eat it since it doesn’t look tasty like a banana.

How do I spend my time? I love hanging around especially in my basket, like in the first picture. Unlike other bears that sleep in the basket, I would sit at the edge of the basket and balance myself by holding on to the wall with my long claws. I love chilling there and just enjoy watching the keepers. I would also watch them when they’re cleaning the cages next to mine, and sometimes I would follow the brush that’s cleaning the wall next to me. They smell funny.

Sometimes they would make special toys for me to play with during my free time. I am usually very focused on only one toy at a time. If I’m not done with an  enrichment, I won’t be bothered by another enrichment. However, I will surely move on to the next enrichment when I’m done.

One time, I was given an Aussie dog ball. I love that toy! The ball was filled with my meal, porridge. I tried pouring the porridge like how I would do when drinking coconut water but I got startled when the porridge dripped on my body. Silly me! I tried many ways to get my porridge and finally found the best way for me which was to roll the ball, lick the porridge that poured out, roll, lick, and repeat until the ball was empty. Yummy!

Another enrichment they always give me is the nest ball. It’s a ball that looks like a nest made of weeds with a sweet surprise inside. Usually I’ll get bananas and some honey. Yum!

A freshly made nest ball.

One day, I was given another Aussie dog ball. Inside, I saw a nest ball. Hmm this is tricky. I must get this! But wait, did my neighbour , Bermuda get the same thing? I climbed up my cage to peek at him and saw him totally focused on a similar ball like the one I got. I must get my treats before he does! Bermuda always thinks he’s a more macho guy than me.

I immediately went back to my ball and clawed my way into the hole of the ball to get the weeds out. By the first minute, a small nest ball came out. Turns out, the nest ball is three times smaller than the normal ones but there’s more inside the aussie dog ball. The next one was a little harder but by the fourth minute I managed to get it out and already devoured the second piece of banana. The last mini nest ball was out after five minutes and a half since I started. This enrichment was harder than usual which usually took less than a minute but good things don’t come easy!

A mini nest ball before being stuffed into an Aussie dog ball.

Me focusing on getting my treats before Bermuda gets his.

I love almost all of the enrichments they give me because enrichment means more treats for me! However, I don’t really enjoy the termite mounds they give me. They kind of bore me. I got excited at first, scratched it a bit then leave it. I only really destroy it during the night when I got bored.

The toys they give me really help to get rid of my boredom. The toys give me something to focus on so I won’t get easily stressed out.

By now you must have another question, “Why hasn’t Ronnie been released back to the forest?”. Well, there are a few criteria in order to be a good release candidate but for now, I haven’t fully met the criteria. I am still thankful to everyone in the centre that made sure me and my friends (Bermuda included) are in the best possible environment for now. In my dreams, I am running and climbing all the tress with yummy fruits high up in the tree.

Thank you everyone who is reading my story about my journey and thank you for contributing in any small way you can, to ensure a happy life for my friends and I in the centre.   


Logan - Forest Doctor


Video by Chiew Lin May

“Forest doctor” Sun bear help ensure the health of the forest by keeping termite populations low. Let see how Logan serves as a forest doctor.

Visit of Deputy Permanent Secretary of MOF Sabah to BSBCC


As a good start for this year of 2019, BSBCC has been visited by a delegation from Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance Sabah, Datuk Peter Thien. The delegation consisted of Datuk Peter Thien himself while being escorted by Deputy Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, Puan. Jum Rafiah Abd. Sukor and several more officials had been guided personally by Dr. Wong Siew Te, the founder and CEO of BSBCC. They enjoyed a good sharing session as they went to observation platform seeing the bears in natural forest enclosure and also interacting with some visitors from foreign countries. We gladly express our biggest gratitude for the delegation’s visit to our centre.

Dr. Wong briefing the background of BSBCC to the delegation.

Sharing some info of the anatomy of sun bears.

Datuk Peter Thien and some members of the delegation listening to Dr. Wong explanation at the first observation platform.

Now at the second observation platform.

Some visitors took pictures with Dr. Wong.

Photo sessions at the second platform.

Dr. Wong handed the framed picture of a sun bear and several more goodies to Datuk Peter Thien as a sign of appreciation for the visit.


Wong Siew Te’s 2019 New Year Message


Happy New Year everyone!

It is time to say goodbye to 2018 and welcome the new year of 2019. It is also the time for our tenth anniversary of efforts at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and moving to the next 10-year era. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and help over the past 10 years, and wish you all the best in 2019!

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) had a wonderful and productive year in 2018.We have helped Sabah Wildlife Department in the handling of 60 sun bear rescues over the past 10 years, with 45 rescued sun bears currently housed at BSBCC. In 2018, BSBCC received four sun bears; three rescued as house pets, and a conflict bear from Abai area. In 2018, we successfully released two adult female sun bears, Damai and Debbie, who had been with us since they were little, into the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and have been monitoring their movements for several months. We also released a conflict sun bear back to Abai and are monitoring his whereabouts since his release.

2018 marks the fourth year we have been open to the public. Our visitor numbers have been increasing gradually over the past four years, reaching more than 76,000 in 2018. Besides educating visitors on sun bears and their plights, we also hosted 70 school groups consisting of 2242 students and teachers, who visited our centre to learn more about sun bears. In 2018, BSBCC also recruited 109 volunteers from 9 countries, and 15 interns from 7 institutions to help us take care of the rescued sun bears and maintain the facilities. Our media coverage includes 53 newspaper articles and several magazines and TV programs. In short, 2018 was an awesome year and you were the big reason behind our success! Thank you so much for being with us!

Looking into the New Year, we hope to implement several ambitious plans. The long expected BSBCC Gateway Building will begin construction in 2019, as federal funding has recently being allocated to the Sabah Wildlife Department. We will begin the planning of our new quarantine building with bear den, and a veterinary clinic to provide better care for our rescued bears. We will embark on the Tabin Sun Bear Project, a long term research, rehabilitation and anti-poaching project based in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and will dedicate even more efforts on conservation issues for wild sun bears . We also will organize the 2nd Sun Bear Symposium later in 2019, and hope to develop a 10 year action plan for the sun bear in Sabah and the region. All and all, we have many plans to ensure the long term survival of the sun bear.

As BSBCC is now becoming more and more established, the next ten years will represent a crucial period in really achieving things. Poaching and illegal wildlife trade are now the biggest threats for all remaining wildlife across Southeast Asia, including the sun bear in Malaysia. We have to do everything that we can a to save them, if we wish to ensure their survival in the future. Government agencies, biologists, NGOs, local communities and stakeholders, all play important roles in the conservation of sun bears and other precious wildlife.

Like all conservation projects, our projects will be neither easy nor cheap, and will always pose new challenges. On August 2018, a severe wind storm blew down many big trees and damaged our centre’s second observation platform, as well as the perimeter fencing of the bear enclosures in the forest. Luckily there were neither bear nor human casualties. We have spent more than RM170, 000 to repair the damages within a few months. This is just one of the many challenges we often face in running the centre. In order for us to implement all of our plans successfully, we need to work together to achieve our goals. All BSBCC staff, myself included, are committed to taking excellent care of our rescued bears, to continuing our good work to raise awareness and to helping maintain sun bear populations. However, we still need your help to make our work possible. Everyone is encouraged to help us spread the word, raise funds, and contribute time and energy as volunteers. You can visit our website at www.bsbcc.org.my or on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to hear our latest news and stories. You can also donate to us online at http://www.bsbcc.org.my/donate.html to help our work be possible. Together, we can help save the sun bears and make a better world for all beings on the planet we all call home – Earth!

Once again, I wish you a Happy New Year! May the New Year bring happiness, joyfulness, peacefulness, and refuge to all beings on Earth!

Dr (Hon) Wong Siew Te, D.J.N.


C.E.O. and Founder

Nano enjoys Ice Block Treats


Video by Chiew Lin May

"Who does not love ice-cream?!" 

During the hot day, one way to keep the sun bear stay cool is with the tasty fruits ice block treats! 

​A perfect gift to rescued sun bear will support the ongoing care, treatment and tasty fruits. Check out on our website at www.bsbcc.org.my

CNN英雄黃修德護熊有功 —— 《豐》雜誌


Public Mutual Magazine ‘Feng’, Page 36-39. December 2018.

"CNN hero Wong Siew Te in protecting the Sun Bear"

BJ and new friends


Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May

On the 2nd of March 2017, a sun bear cub was handed over to the Sabah Wildlife Department named BJ. He was found after being purchased in Sonsogon village, Pitas, and was sold for the price of RM 300 and then was kept as a pet. He arrived at BSBCC on the 22nd of November, 2018. He is a two year old, sub adult male bear weighing 32.20kg.

After living alone in a cage, BJ was finally free from trauma and now has made some friends for the first time in his life. On the 14th of December 2018, BJ was integrated into a larger social group of female bears – Kina, Sika, Soo and Diana, who would help him adjust to his new life and learn how to be a bear again!

Integration with Kina

Integration with Sika

Integration with Soo

Integration with Diana

Here we can see how the introduction went:

Nose to nose – bear GREETING!



Showing canines

Fun with biting and chasing
Getting along well

Seem to be friends

As soon as BJ saw his new friends, he stood up on his hind legs, began sniffing and pawing them to start play fighting! They showed their strong canines and sharp claws!

He was such a handsome and kind bear towards the group. It is good to know that he is welcomed by them and they also rely on each other for comfort, protection and love. Although sun bears are by nature solitary animals in the wild, the bond between a mother and her cub is strong during the time they are together. During the integration, sun bears can learn from each other as they communicate and play together.

BJ has proven himself to be a friendly bear. He also smiles which shows a few wrinkles on his face. 

It is great that BJ has accepted this wonderful new friendship. Kina and Sika are BJ’s bear play friends. 

Sometimes, BJ wants to play with Soo and Diana, but both of the female bears seem to ignore him. Once BJ started sharing the large dens with the other female bears, he immediately began exploring. He has found the simple pleasure of good friends. He is a happy go lucky bear who loves running around the dens and convinces the others to play with him by sniffing or pulling them. He is always filled with curiosity and enjoys exploring the enrichment around the dens. 

They spend their days wandering around the dens, digging up the dead wood, climbing on the structural enrichment and sharing their toys. They are doing things together and seem to enjoy each other’s company.

That is a good thing, as they can learn from each other

For the rest of their first week together, there was no aggression found and they were accepting of each other as it did not take too long for them to become social. Now he has four lovely female bears to keep him company. It was a delight to see him grow into a healthy and loving bear where he could truly be himself.