Category Archives: book

Now secondary school students will learn about sun bear and BSBCC

By Wong Siew Te

Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) was first discovered in Malay Peninsula and described to science by American naturalist in 1825. Ironically, after 187 year, many Malaysians, along with most people in the world, do not know about this world’s smallest bear species. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the lack of education materials on sun bear in the school’s curriculum in this country. However, this phenomenon is about to change.

Penerbitan Pelangi Sdn Bhd (Pelangi Publisher Ltd. Co.) ( is determined to help BSBCC and to raise awareness of sun bear and BSBCC among the secondary schools students in Malaysia. The publishing company is producing 300,000 copies of science reference books for Malaysian schools  with BSBCC’s logo and website printed on the book’s cover. In addition, Pelangi Publisher also donated RM10,000 to support BSBCC as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project. Soon, more and more Malaysian students will learn and know more about sun bears and the important roles that they play in the forest ecosystem.

BSBCC would like to thank Penerbitan Pelangi Sdn Bhd for their generous support and their initiative to help educate students about sun bears. We hope this CSR project will catalyze more corporations to play their parts to protect sun bears in this region and support BSBCC in the future!  


Wildlife Heroes close up with Wong

By Siew Te Wong

I am humbled and honored to have been select as one of the 40 Wildlife Heroes across the world who featured in the Book “Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving.”

Thank you the authors of the book, Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken for your kindness to feature me and my work on sun bears in this book.

Thank you all of you who supported and helped me over the years, and keep supporting and helping on our work on sun bears.

Without your support, I would not be what I am today.

Without your help, we would not be achieving what we have achieved today.

Together we can, we have, and we will make a different!

 Thank you all!





Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving



People around the world are fascinated by wildlife and wildlife conservationists – they are captivated by the animals, and those people working in the remote corners of the Earth to save them. Wildlife Heroes provides a visual and written window into the world of these admired individuals, the fascinating species and the issues that must be resolved to save them.

With one-third of known species being threatened with extinction, wildlife conservationists are some of the most important heroes on the planet, and Wildlife Heroes profiles the work of 40 of the leading conservationists and the animals and causes they are committed to saving, such as Belinda Low (zebras), Iain Douglas-Hamilton (elephants), Karen Eckert (sea turtles), S.T. Wong (sun bear), Steve Galster (wildlife trade), and Wangari Maathai (habitat loss). Since we all should have an interest in conservation, there is a chapter providing information on ways people can get involved and make a difference. Chapter introductions are by author Kuki Gallmann, actor Ted Danson, actress Stefanie Powers, Congressman Jay Inslee, and TV personality Jack Hanna.

The book’s stunning photos capture the beauty of the animals and the magnetism of the heroes as they work in the often grueling conditions where the animals live. Each chapter is introduced with a personal essay by celebrities who themselves are committed wildlife champions, including actor Ted Danson (Cheers, CSI), actress Stephanie Powers (Heart to Heart, Herbie Rides Again), US Representative Jay Inslee, TV Host Jack Hanna (Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, Into The Wild), and author Kuki Gallman (I Dreamed of Africa).

Wildlife Heroes will appeal to both avid animal enthusiasts and casual readers wishing to learn more about our planet and the people working to protect it.

Julie Scardina


Julie Scardina is Animal Ambassador and Corporate Curator responsible for Animal Training and Animal Ambassador programs for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Scardina serves on the board of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, is an active mentor and board member with the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders and participates on the World Wildlife Fund National Council. She regularly travels into the field to learn about and document the projects and conservation issues so important today. Scardina shares her passion for animals and the parks education, conservation and rescue efforts as a monthly guest on the “Today” show and as a long time guest on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. Scardina graduated with honors from San Diego State University.

Jeff Flocken


Jeff Flocken is DC Office Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare where he leads the organization’s policy experts advocating for animals. In this capacity he works on campaigns combating the wildlife trade and conserving polar bears, lions, whales, tigers, and elephants, among other species. Before this, Flocken worked for the US government doing international species conservation. Flocken has been a consultant on movies, books and television shows addressing wildlife issues, and serves on advisory boards for several wildlife organizations. Flocken is also the cofounder of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders initiative which mentors and provides training for up-and-coming wildlife leaders. He has a law degree from Wayne State Law School, and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan.

The Heroes:

Marc Ancrenaz

HUTAN, Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project


Claudine Andre

Friends of Bonobos


George Archibald

The International Crane Foundation


Felicity Arengo

The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History


May Berenbaum

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Conservation through Poverty Alleviation International


Shivani Bhalla

The Ewaso Lions Project


Elena Bykova

Saiga Conservation Alliance


Rogerio Cunha de Paula

Instituto Pro-Carnivoros


Ted Danson



Vera da Silva

Projecto Boto


Luke Dollar

Earthwatch Institute


Iain Douglas-Hamilton

Save the Elephants


Raoul du Toit

International Rhino Foundation


Sylvia Earle

National Geographic Society
Deep Search Foundation


Karen Eckert

Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network


Claudia Feh

TAKH: The Association for the Przewalski’s Horse


Grace Ge Gabriel

International Fund for Animal Welfare


Steve Galster



Kuki Gallmann

The Gallmann Africa Conservancy


Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall Institute


Edgardo Griffith

Houston Zoo El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center


Rosamira Guillen

Proyecto Titi


Jack Hanna

Columbus Zoo Partners in Conservation


Alison Jolly

Lemur Conservation Foundation
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust


Gerald Kooyman

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego


Belinda Low

Grevy’s Zebra Trust


John Lukas

Okapi Conservation Project of Gilman International Conservation

Wildlife Conservation Network


Wangari Maathai

Green Belt Movement


Laurie Marker

Cheetah Conservation Fund


Diane McTurk

Karanambu Trust


Patricia Medici

IUCN Tapir Specialist Group


Stefanie Powers

William Holden Wildlife Foundation


Gregory Rasmussen

Painted Dog Conservation


Eugene Rutagarama

International Gorilla Conservation Programme


Kassie Siegel

Center for Biological Diversity


Claudio Sillero

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme


Leandro Silveira

Jaguar Conservation Fund


Judy St. Leger

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund


Brent Stewart

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute


Deborah Tabart

Australia Koala Foundation


Nguyen Van Thai

Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program


Merlin Tuttle

Bat Conservation International


Amanda Vincent

Project Seahorse


Siew Te Wong

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center




The wildlife and wild places of our planet are threatened as never before by human population growth and our constant destruction of the natural environment. We desperately need wildlife heroes, and this timely book celebrates 40 of those who are struggling to save various species around the world. These men and women are shining inspirations, and hopefully, after reading this book, you will be inspired to do something yourself to help animals in need.”

Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE, Founder – The Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace


Publishers Weekly
“Environmental advocates Scardina and Flocken profile the grassroots organizations, tenacious scientists, and willful philanthropists that shape today’s conservation policy and practice. Each portrait centers on a threatened or endangered species and describes the life and work of the person who has dedicated his career to protecting the species from extinction. Organized into sections corresponding to the four elements—Earth, Water, Air, and Fire—with introductory essays by celebrities like Ted Danson, the subjects are grouped according to their habitat, with “Fire” focusing on the broader threats to the world’s ecosystems. The pithy summaries of the activists’ struggles are accompanied by informative tidbits about the biology, behavior, natural history, and cultural context of the target species, along with delightful photographs of both human and beast. From the grassland-dwelling maned wolf of Central South America to the iceberg-hopping emperor penguin of Antarctica, the book shows how negative human interference imperils the welfare of all living things, and suggests that by taking an active role in conservation, education, and community building, we can help prevent the tragic loss of the world’s biological diversity.”

“Conservationists Scardina (a regular on Today and The Tonight Show) and Flocken have created an alluring book of dazzling photographs and stirring stories of adventure and breakthroughs that introduces intriguing “wildlife heroes” and portrays the imperiled animals they have dedicated, even risked, their lives to save… this keenly charismatic, solidly informative call for the preservation of life affirms that it is still possible, with concerted effort, to save animals from extinction.”


Read more about this book at:

And now kids are learning about sun bear and BSBCC too!

Text by Siew Te Wong

 This is another good story of “do what you do best to help sun bear and BSBCC”.

Joyce Malmo was a volunteer project manager with the Raleigh International working with BSBCC back in August 2010. She felt very privileged to be working at BSBCC and experiencing the sun bears. Joyce decided to do more subsequently to her volunteering work with us. She decided to write a children book about sun bear and other wildlife and their habitat across the world.


The book, ANIMALS – Stories From Across the World is an environmental education storybook for children between 6 – 10 years. It’s a storybook meant for children, teachers, parents, guardians and children. The book contains 7 animal stories from various animals across the world including activities and educational material that can be used at home or in the classroom. This book is currently available for sale as an “eBook” as starter to generate enough fund to publish in paper format. Joyce is very kind to donate 10% of the sale to BSBCC for our education activities. You can purchase the book online at


The following is what Joyce wrote about the chapter on Susie the sun bear in her book:

Sun bears are the smallest species of bears in the world and are found in the tropical rainforests throughout Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the number of sun bears are declining. This is mainly as a result of deforestation and poaching.

The story about Susie came about after volunteering at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center (BSBCC) through Raleigh (UK youth development charity) last year.


Susie is a real sun bear. She was the first sun bear that I saw at the BSBCC – actually, the first sun bear that I ever saw. Even though parts of the story about Susie is fiction, it is true that she grew up in the rainforest near Tawau and was kept as a pet, before she was rescued by the BSBCC in Sepilok, Sabah in Malaysia.

The story about Susie the little sun bear cub and how she lost her mum and ended up at the Sun Bear Center is the saddest story in the animal storybook. I wanted it to be as close as possible to what unfortunately does happen in reality to many sun bears. Yet the story gives hope by introducing one to the Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Center – founded in 2008 by Mr. Siew Te Wong – it is safe to say that he is the leading expert on sun bears.


The Center was set up with the support and help of Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and a charity called Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

So, this is where Susie lives, together with more than 20 other rescued bears. Most of them were brought to the Center as orphans or as victims of the pet trade.

Spending about 6 weeks at the Center in Borneo working as a volunteer through Raleigh in 2010, I could see a true dedication by the staff, not only for the conservation of the sun bears, but the environment in general.


However, the BSBCC is still under construction. It aims to conserve sun bears through a combination of education, rehabilitation, research, and improvement of the welfare of captive orphaned sun bears.

Currently, the Center is not open to the public. At the moment, they will start working on the construction of a viewing platform for visitors, so the idea is to open it in order to educate the public.

Apart from being incredible fascinating animals (which we know very little about), the sad story of the sun bears is one that opens up the door to many different environmental issues, which can can be introduced into the classroom by simply telling the story about Susie the sun bear from Tawau.

For more information about the BSBCC, their work and the sun bears, have a look at their website/blog:


Thank you Joyce! Your work is important to us and the sun bears.

Please help us spread the words about this book and support Joyce and BSBCC!

Now the French speaking folks are learning about sun bears and the works of BSBCC

On Jan 2010, I received an email from Genevieve Hamelin from France saying that she would like to write a book about bears. This is one of her email to me:


Hello Wong
Thank you very much for your quick answer. I have to explain to you exactly what I am doing. I am a French librarian in a school and I live in the west of France. I love bears and I yet made a website about them that you can see here :
I wanted to write a book about bears for youth and people who like them.
My book will be published in april and if I want to add an article I have to do quickly to send it to the publisher before the end of the next week.
The title is “On the steps of bears” . The first part is on the imaginary of bears and the second one about the eight species of bears we can find through the world.
A friend of mine made the drawings and some associations of protection send me pictures of bears in their biotope  and a text to explain their action.
For the sun bears , I found your address on the jeanett mc Dermott’s blog and it’s the reason why I wrote to you. I wrote a part of my book on the description of the sun bears, their reproduction and also their geographical repartition but in France we have not a lot of information about their conservation.
The book will be in French so I will have to translate your text into French before to send it to my publisher. Of course when the book will be published I will send you one specimen. It’s with pleasure.
Thanks a lot Wong
I am waiting for your answer


On October 2011, Genevieve’s “On the steps bears” finally published. My copy that she sent me reached me few days ago! It was a well written book. Now the French speaking folks are learning about sun bears and the works of BSBCC!

Thank you Genevieve! Congratulation on your job well done!







You can read more about the book written in a French’s news at:



Geneviève Hamelin : se mobiliser pour la sauvegarde des ours


Par Catherine Nedelec – le 27 Octobre 2011 à 11:54

Geneviève Hamelin, documentaliste dans un collège d’Angers, s’intéresse depuis des années à la sauvegarde des animaux sauvages, notamment de l’ours, son animal fétiche. « Sur les pas de l’ours » vient de paraitre ; avec ce livre magnifiquement illustré, elle souhaite sensibiliser le plus grande nombre à la condition de ces plantigrades et au risque de leur disparition.

Geneviève Hamelin est très sollicitée par les associations de sauvegarde des animaux sauvages.

Geneviève Hamelin est très sollicitée par les associations de sauvegarde des animaux sauvages.

Figure emblématique de l’Arctique, l’ours polaire est désormais le symbole d’un monde qui subit durablement les effets du réchauffement climatique. Le bien nommé ours blanc est ainsi le plus connu. Il existe pourtant sept autres espèces, tout aussi menacées d’extinction à cause d’un environnement qui se transforme à leur désavantage, de chasseurs de trophées ou de braconniers, agissant à des fins alimentaires si ce n’est pour la médecine chinoise traditionnelle.

Arctophile, Geneviève Hamelin a franchi depuis longtemps la simple passion de l’ours en peluche. Elle a voulu en savoir plus sur l’animal, le vrai, qui a servi de modèle à ces adorables peluches. Opposé à l’image du jouet proche et docile, l’ours, animal sauvage, plutôt agressif, a passionné Geneviève Hamelin par son authenticité. Ce livre est pour elle une manière pédagogique d’expliquer la souffrance de cet animal et la diminution inexorable du nombre déjà restreint de ces plantigrades.
Bien qu’enrichi de photos expressives et de très beaux dessins de Laurence Saunois, ce livre n’est pas qu’un livre d’illustrations, en témoigne un texte nourri par une recherche documentaire efficace et une sensibilité due aux moments intenses vécus auprès des ours. La passion et la curiosité ont entrainée Geneviève Hamelin au parc national de Katmaï, en Alaska, il y a un peu plus d’an, sur les pas de l’ours brun.

 Durant ce voyage au confort rudimentaire et entièrement consacré à l’observation des grizzlis au moment de la remontée des saumons, elle a appris à reconnaitre leur pelage, leurs cicatrices, à les respecter – ne pas s’approcher de plus de 50 mètres d’un mâle et de 100 mètres d’une femelle accompagnée de ses petits -, à étudier leur vie sociale, l’attitude d’ « une mère qui sait être attentive, ayant toujours une regard protecteur sur sa progéniture veillant à ce qu’un mâle n’approche pas ses oursons ».

Ce « spectacle inoubliable » a renforcé sa conviction qu’il faut agir et éduquer. Soutenue par l’IFAW ( International Fund for Animal Welfare), Geneviève Hamelin a recueilli de nombreux témoignages d’autres fondations et associations, « souvent méconnues et pourtant très actives », qui œuvrent quotidiennement à la sauvegarde des ours, autant qu’ à leur réintroduction dans leur milieu naturel. Entre autres scientifiques, Siew Te Wong en Malaisie, Denis Alexander Torres au Venezuela, Jill Robinson en Asie, Lynn Rogers dans le Minnesota, Valentin Pazhetnov en Russie, ont apporté leur témoignage à ce que ce dernier nomme « un immense défi », visant « la préservation de notre seul et unique habitat : la planète Terre ».
Sur les pas de l’ours contient de multiples références utiles pour se documenter encore davantage sur le sujet.

En librairie – 18 €


I know most of you did not read French so I “google translate” the news article. Please do not blame me for the bad translation.


 Geneviève Hamelin: mobilizing to save the bears

Geneviève Hamelin, librarian at a college of Angers, looks for years to the preservation of wildlife, including bears, the animal fetish. “In the Footsteps of the Bear” comes to seem, with this beautifully illustrated book, she wants to educate the largest number on the condition of the plantigrade and the risk of their disappearance.

 Emblematic figure of the Arctic, the polar bear has become the symbol of a world undergoing long-term effects of global warming. The polar bear is aptly named as the best known. But there are seven other species also endangered because of environmental changes to their disadvantage, trophy hunters or poachers, acting for food except for traditional Chinese medicine.

Arctophila, Geneviève Hamelin has taken a long time passion for the simple teddy bear. She wanted to know more about the animal, the real, which served as a model for these adorable stuffed animals. Opposed to the image of the toy closer and docile, bear, wild animal, not aggressive, a passionate Geneviève Hamelin with its authenticity. This book is a pedagogical way for her to explain the suffering of the animal and the inexorable decline of the already limited number of plantigrade.

Although expressive images than enriched and beautiful drawings by Laurence Saunois, this book is not a book of illustrations, text fed evidenced by an effective retrieval and sensitivity due to the intense moments lived with bear. The passion and curiosity have entrained Geneviève Hamelin Katmai National Park, Alaska, there is a little over a year, in the footsteps of the brown bear.

 During this trip to the comfort and rudimentary entirely devoted to the observation of grizzly bears during the salmon, she learned to recognize their coats, their scars, to respect them – stay away from over 50 meters of male and 100 meters of a female accompanied by her young – to study their social life, the attitude of “a mother who knows how to be attentive, always a watchful eye on his offspring ensuring that a male does not approach her cubs.”

The “unforgettable” reinforced his belief that we must act and educate. Supported by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Geneviève Hamelin has documented numerous other foundations and associations, “often overlooked yet very active,” working every day to safeguard the bear, so far as their reintroduction into the wild. Among other scientists, Siew Te Wong in Malaysia, Denis Alexander Torres Venezuela, Asia Jill Robinson, Lynn Rogers, Minnesota, Valentin Pazhetnov in Russia, have testified that it calls “a huge challenge,” aimed ” the preservation of our single habitat: Planet Earth. ”
In the footsteps of Bear contains many useful references to further documentation on the subject.