The First Rescued Sun Bears in 2017

Text by Seng Yen Wah
Photos by Seng Yen Wah & Chiew Lin May

Kina (Rescue- 54), an one year old female sun bear cub and Sika (Rescue-55), a four months old female sun bear cub were sent to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) today (1st March 2017). These two rescued sun bears arrived at BSBCC from the Lok Kawi Wildlife Zoo in Kota Kinabalu.

Two new rescue bears arrived at BSBCC this evening.

Kina was found around the village of Malak Palak, at Kota Marudu, in the northern region of Sabah. We named her “Kina”, after the place where she was kept. Her owner claimed that Kina’s mother was crossing a road and got frightened then just ran away and left Kina behind. Kina was just a bear cub and had not even opened her eyes yet. Hence, her owner took her and kept her for more than a year. He then decided to surrender her to SWD. ?

The first bear off the truck is a one year old female sun bear cub, Kina.

After a lifetime kept as pet, Kina now can recover from trauma and live in safe home.

There is a long way to go with hope that this is an eye opening on the start of a second chance and better life !!

The brand new dens that awaits them!

Ready to enter her new home!

She is getting used to the sights and sound of her new surroudings !

Kina is finally home and safe!

Kina very curious and active as she started climbing and biting the things around her.

Sure one day Kina will learn what it takes to live like wild sun bear !

Sika is named after the place that she was rescued from. She was found by a foreigner who travelled to the village of Sikalabaan, in Pensiangan district, located in the interior division of Sabah. Pensiangan is one of the most rural areas in Sabah which is located deep in Borneo’s jungle. He had visited BSBCC before. He decided to call BSBCC and asked for the centre to rescue this bear cub once he saw that a villager was keeping her in a chicken mesh cage as a pet. She was previously fed condense milk, fruits and cereal.

First glimpse of Sika who was rescued from life as a pet.

Unloading Sika from the truck and sent into her new home at BSBCC

Sniffing….around her new environment!

She will slowly settle into her new home.

Life that she deserves after all she has been through!

Sika taking a nap after a long journey arrive to the new home.

A very pretty Sika with beautiful blue eyes

With care, love and nutritious diet given hope both rescue bears will grow healthy and way to a brighter future.

A Veterinarian from the SWD, Dr. Nabila Sarkawi performed a full medical checkup for Kina and Sika before they were sent to BSBCC. Kina weighed 12.85kg and Sika weighed 4.8kg. Both rescued bears are healthy, active, bright and alert bear.

Sun Bears are a “Totally Protected” Species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment in 1997. Based on this enactment, any activities that could hurt the sun bear is totally prohibited which includes keeping a sun bear as a pet. Any offenders could face either 10 years in jail, fined up to RM100,000 or both. There is no reason for keeping a sun bear as a pet. They are wild animals and they should stay in the wild. In fact, the bear cub will be attached to their mother until they are two to three years old. A mother will never abandon her children. The only reason that could make this happen is the mother was killed and the children were brought away from their mother by poachers. Keeping them as a pet and illegal poaching is an unforgivable act to the sun bear.

Thankfully, Kina and Sika were rescued and gets a second chance for her life.From now, Kina and Sika will go through quarantine and will receive good care from the BSBCC bear care unit.We hope they will gain strength and be able to be released back into the wild one day.

We will keep you updated on their progress. Lastly, please spread the word to keep sun bears WILD and NOT as Pets! Be their voice!!

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