Learning about enrichment for sun bears at BSBCC

Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Tee Thye Lim

The kids from the ISS International School have selected the BSBCC as one of their destinations for their Borneo trip. Thanks to APE Malaysia, we managed to team up and get these kids to learn about the importance of enrichment for sun bears in captivity.  A total of 29 13-14 year old kids involved and they were accompanied by their 4 teachers.

It all started with an introduction talk about sun bears and the BSBCC.

It all started with an introduction talk about sun bears and the BSBCC

Introducing the BSBCC

Then the students were brought to the platform and the bear house to do a pre enrichment observation on the bears. In other words is they get to see how the bears behave without any enrichment given.

Then, the fun part! ENRICHMENT MAKING!!

Materials for making enrichment

Materials for making enrichment

The kids were briefed about "Safe enrichment for the bears" by Thye Lim

The kids were briefed about “safe enrichment for sun bears” by Thye Lim

Eliminating plastic tapes from the cardboards

Eliminating plastic tapes from the cardboards

no staples

Staples aren’t safe for the bears

The bears would love these for the enrichment

The bears would love these in their enrichment

"What should be made out of these egg trays?"

“What should be made out of these egg trays?”

Using ropes made of natural fiber for tying up enrichments

Using ropes made of natural fiber to tye up enrichments

Spreading bits of herbs and spices on a ginger leaf

Spreading bits of herbs and spices on a ginger leaf

Yup!the kids were working hard for the bears!

Everyone is so focused

The ISS kids and their completed enrichment

Looking good!

Everybody managed to complete their enrichment in 20 minutes (thats fast!). They did a very good job in creating them using the provided materials (cardboard, egg trays, various kinds of herbs & spices, beans, ginger leaves, hessian sack etc).

The bears could smell their “toys” from afar as the kids were bringing them closer. They were curious and couldn’t wait to check out whats coming ahead. Everything was quickly ripped apart, however the bears continued to check out every remain pieces until the end of the day. Not forgetting the macaques that shares the forest enclosure, they got entertained by the enrichment as well.

It was another interesting day for the bears at the BSBCC as these enrichment were different from the daily enrichment provided by the BSBCC staff. Thanks to the ISS kids, you all definitely made a difference.

Not forgetting your kind donations to the centre, we really appreciate them!

ISS kids presenting their donations to BSBCC

ISS kids presenting their donations to BSBCC

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