Category Archives: bear moving

A hint of the life that she should be living!

Text and Photos by Chiew Lin May

One of the happiest moments since her arrival at the centre has been her growing fondness of the forest, where he loves foraging and eating soil.

Our one year old, female sun bear cub Kala is growing up! Kala was bought by someone on Kalabakan-Sapulut Road near Maliau Basin with the intention of saving the cub they then surrendered her to the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit. She had never even been given the chance to experience life as a wild bear – poached from the wild as a cub after her mother was killed; this horrific life was all she had ever known.

When she first arrived at BSBCC, Kala was emaciated, dehydrated and malnourished. Back then her weight was just 3kg and she was very thin.

We are very glad that her health is now in a stable condition. She has been relying on FIDO Premium Milk Powder for her growth. A huge thanks to our most generous and certainly loveliest supporters from TTL Distributors Sdn Bhd who have given our orphaned sun bear cubs a life full of meaning and joy.

During her rehabilitation, Kala was taken out for daily forest walks to learn important forest skills by our bear care staff for almost one year. She is making good progress through gaining confidence while climbing in the trees, loving to be outside and finally learning how to be a bear. When she was about one year and three months old, she had reached the age where she was no longer vulnerable for a human to walk with her in the forest.

Our “mother bear” is leading the climbing skills to little Kala.

It is truly heart-warming to see little Kala take his first few climb on trees.

Last year in November we tried to let Kala meet new cubs and make friends (Boboi, Kitud and Tan-Tan). Unfortunately, Kala was not accepted by her three companions due to her rough play fighting, but we will continue to look for other bears who she might find some companionship with. This is a time for little Kala to make new friends and go out into the sunshine. On February 23rd, 2016 a veterinarian from the Sabah Wildlife Department, Dr Laura Benedict, and Wong Siew Te with our bear care team helped in the moving process. During the process, a general health check on Kala was conducted to assess potential sickness, functionality of organs and physical condition. The blood tests concluded that Kala was a healthy bear and she now weighs 23.35kg.

Process moving Kala to Bear House starts with Kala being put on anesthesia by Dr Laura Benedict, Wildlife Rescue Unit veterinarian.

After the sedation procedure, Kala was carried out of her den and put into the transportation trolley.

Bear care team help to transfer Kala to Bear House.

Reach new home at Bear House!

Dr.Laura Benedict and Bear care team perform a full health check on Kala.

Dr Laura took blood samples, give deworming and multivitamin injections, while Bear care team were busy monitoring TPR (temperatures, pulse rate, and respiration rate), taking body measurements and photos, collecting hair samples (for future DNA studies).

Checking Kala’s teeth condition

Kala’s unique chest mark! The sun bear’s name comes from this marking, which looks like a rising sun.

Carrying Kala to her new dens once the health check process has completed.

When moving Kala to her new dens, the other neighboring bears showed curiosity to the little cub. Kala’s den is designed in a semi natural style to give her a real taste of freedom and to stimulate her natural behavior in the wild.

Curious with neighbour bears !

Kala is gradually settling down to the new environment.

The bear care team has given Kala various enrichment items – these have included puzzle feeders, fire hose bags, fire hose pockets filled with peanut butter, green leaves, logs, and hidden treats encouraging Kala to forage. Little by little she tried out every enrichment and ventured around the new den. Kala is extremely playful and loves to investigate new toys! When it comes to food, she eats all her meals with relish!

 

She is playful, energetic and loves spend hours playing all kinds of enrichment.

Yummy!

 

 

She enjoys taking her nap inside the basket.

Incredibly long tongue, perfect for extract honey and insects!

These events have given Kala a new journey in life. Beautiful Kala has been so strong and brave in shaking off her past and loves her freedom today. We will continue to help Kala develop the forest skills she needs until she returns to the wild again.  The next step for Kala is she will be introduced to the bears who are the same age as her and slowly will have access to the natural forest enclosure. So stay turned!

 

Five New Bears in One Night

Text by Jocelyn Stokes
Photos by BSBCC Staffs

The truck full of sun bear arrives

Late Monday night, the BSBCC staff waited patiently in the moonlight as a large truck full of bears slowly pulled into the conservation centre’s docking area. It was 10pm on the 10th of March, when five rescued sun bears arrived at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre from Lok Kawi Zoo, Kota Kinabalu.  The BSBCC is grateful to receive the assistance of the Wildlife Rescue Unit from Sabah Wildlife Department in their efforts to bring these bears to their new home.

Preparing to unload the first new bear

First glimpse of the bear cub, Sunbearo

Wong gives directions for uploading the first bear into the quarantine area.

The bear cub steps out of the small cage and into his new home

Relocating the bears took a lot of muscle power!

Moving the bears into the bear house

The bear crew worked late into the night moving the bears

Some of the bears were move aggressive during the move

Moving bears can be quite tricky!

Thye Lim feeds the bears honey to help reduce stress. Sun Bears ALWAYS love honey!

As the bears barked and rattled their cages, the staff managed to safely unload and transfer the four adult bears and one cub into the centre’s new rehabilitation facilities, all within the course of only 3 hours! Only one bear required sedation for the transfer, which occurred the following day in addition to a health check, revealing that this big, blue-eyed male is in good physical condition.

Ronney, a male adult bear need to sedated for transfer into new home. He has a beautiful blue eyes.

Health checks were carried out before Ronney was placed into new cages.

While observing the freshly-relocated baby sun bear explore its new home, Wong Siew Te, CEO & Founder of the BSBCC, announced that this beautiful young male will be named ‘Sunbearo’ in recognition of all the enabling support that the company Neways has given to the centre.  “Without the generous support of companies like Neways, these bears could not have been given a home here,” Wong said with deep appreciation.

Wong and Sunbearo’s first feeding. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre mission is to conserve sun bear through improving animal welfare, raising conservation awareness with education, conducting research, and rehabilitating the sun bear cubs like Sunbearo who have the second chance to return his life in the forest!

Sunbearo explores his new home and practices climbing.

In Sabah it is completely illegal to hunt or keep sun bears captive because the Bornean sun bear is a Class I protected species. Although it is illegal to keep sun bears, it is sadly not uncommon and wild sun bear populations continue to be at risk.  Sigalung, Phin, Diana, Ronney and Sunbearo are the names of our well-received new bears. They are all victims of this crime. The BSBCC is grateful for the opportunity to assist them in their plight, however it is necessary to remember why they need our help.

In the midst of all the inherent excitement of receiving 5 new bears, a surprise guest visited the centre as well. Sir David Attenborough, famed naturalist and narrator, was graciously welcomed to the BSBCC with a personal tour from Wong as they observed and discussed the sun bears together. Although the bears being observed in the forest enclosure may not have been especially aware of his presence, Wong the BSBCC staff, were quite pleased to welcome such an honorary guest.

Wonderful! Sir David Attenborough visit our centre and Wong explain about sun bear and BSBCC stories.

There! Sun bear is by far the most arboreal bear in the world!

Wong and Sir David Attenborough shared experiences on sun bears.

Explaining the importance of sun bears in the forest ecosystem.

A little gift to Sir David- a sun bear photo!

More news on the progress of our new arrivals will be coming soon, so stay connected as we embrace our new count of 32 sun bears!

 

More bear pals moving in to the new bear house

Text by Gloria Ganang

The BSBCC is in the process of renovating it’s old office building and the attached old bear house. But before this happened, 8 bears residing in the old bear house were moved out to the new bear house. This took place on the 4th April with the help of Dr. Diana Ramirez, veterinarian  from the Sabah Wildlife Department together with the Wildlife Rescue Unit team.

After the sedation procedure, the bears are carried out from their cages

After the sedation procedure, the bears were carried out from their cages

One of the bears ready to be pushed down to the new bear house

One of the bears ready to be pushed on a trolley to the new bear house

Health checks are carried out before the bears are placed in their new cages

Health checks were carried out before the bears were placed in their new cages

After health checks, the bears are moved to their respective new cages

Carrying the bear to Ah Bui to her allocated cage once the health check process has completed

Placing the bear in it's cage before it wakes up!

Placing the bear in the cage 

The moving process took 1 and a half days and all bears were successfully moved to their allocated cages. New residents of the new bear house are still adjusting to their new environment especially having different bears in their neighboring cages.

Amaco (20-year-old male), waking up to his new environment

Amaco (20-year-old male), waking up to his new environment

Existing new bear house resident checking out his new neighbour

Existing new bear house resident checking out his new neighbour

Some are calmly waiting for the arrival of their new neighbours

Some are calmly waiting for their new neighbours to move in

We are very thankful that everything went smoothly with the moving process and we wouldn’t have done all of this without the help from Dr. Diana and the Wildlife Rescue Unit team. Therefore,  we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continuous support towards the BSBCC! Not forgetting our volunteers that worked so hard to help us run the daily operations while we were busy moving our babies! Your passion in helping us is always appreciated!