Category Archives: confiscated

Rescue Number One in 2016

Text by Sabine Bresser
?Photos by Sabine Bresser & Chiew Lin May

We were informed by the Sabah Wildlife Department that, on March 11th, 2016 a two months old tiny sun bear cub was spotted in Forest Management Unit (FMU) 16, Pinangah, Telupid District. The cub was caught and brought to the main offices of the unit where it stayed overnight, appearing rather weak and therefore only given water until it was surrendered to the SWD the following day.

The cub was directly sent to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Zoo before being sent to BSBCC on the March 18th. The sun bear cub is a female and was given the name “Wawa” (Rescue Sun Bear No. 48) by the SWD official who drove the bear to Sepilok.

Big Box – Small Bear

First glimpse at the new member of the bear family

Blue eyes Wawa

Wawa head off to quarantine

Upon Wawa’s arrival BSBCC staff took a quick look at the cub to check its condition; and although Wawa was very likely afraid and exhausted after her 6 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu, she was feisty enough to bark at them – not once but three times. Wawa was quickly moved into the quarantine for it to rest and settle in. She is appearing weak and dehydrated.

First look into Wawa’s new home

Here comes our newest and youngest member

Wawa blinked out at us with exhausted and fear, but was brave enough step into her new den and life

Taking a look around her new home

Everything seems to be to Wawa’s liking, so she will rest

Here she can rest, eat, sleep and grow up for now

We will never know what happened to Wawa mother but we do know that mother bear is unlikely to abandon their cub easily and so the BSBCC will take up the challenge to raise  the little bear and teach it all it needs to know for a return to her natural habit once she is an adult sun bear.
The BSBCC would like to emphasize the fact, that keeping sun bears as pets is illegal, hunting sun bears is also illegal. Sun bears are important to the Malayan forests and wildlife, we should all treat them as the treasure they are.

One Green Planet, 2nd January 2014

By Kristina Pepelko 

The sun bear is one of the smallest bear species in the world and also the least known, as their presence is rather hard to document in the wild due to their elusive nature. As a result, their population numbers remain unknown.

Yet, what is no secret is that these animals, like so many others in the world, are under increased threat because of human activity.

Deforestationpoaching, and the demand for traditional Asian medicine such as bear bile and “exotic” foods like bear paw soup have placed sun bears in danger and they are currently listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

According to the IUCN, in just the last 30 years, the sun bear population has dropped off by nearly 30 percent in Southeast Asia, where they now only have the Borneo Rainforest to call home.

Thankfully, there are organizations working to help these little bear like Animals AsiaFree the Bears Fund, and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).

As we reported back in early December 2013, the BSBCC recently launched a new campaign called Survival of the Sun Bears to raise awareness about the important role these bears play in the Borneo rainforest ecosystem as well as the threats they face today in hopes to prevent their future extinction.

The BSBCC, located in Sabah, Malaysia, is the world’s only sun bear conservation center and is home to 28 rescued bears.

Just this past month, one of the BSBCC’s residents, a five-year-old male sun bear named Kudat, finally took his first steps in the forest.

Kudat came into BSBCC’s care back in July 2010 after he and a female sun bear named Panda were rescued from a private mini zoo called Victory Mini Zoo in Kampung Perapat, Kudat, Malaysia.

According to BSBCC’s CEO and founder, Wong Siew Te, the two bears were held illegally in a small concrete floor cage and put on display for the public day in and day out without any enrichment. Upon their rescue, they were discovered to be overweight due to improper feeding (they were fed one chicken daily) and Kudat already had a few bald patches present on his fur.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Soon after Kudat and Panda’s rescue, they were transported to the BSBCC to finally receive the care and kindness they deserved.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Here, they spent time with other rescued bears, exploring one of the BSBCC’s bear houses…

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre


…and playing with enrichment toys that staff offered them to help them develop more natural sun bear behavior.


Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Then, two years later, after receiving electric fence training, Kudat took his first steps out into the BSBCC’s new forest enclosure!

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

He was hesitant to go outdoors at first, sniffing the air near the entrance to his indoor enclosure and pacing around. But, after nearly seven days of training sessions with food laid out on a ramp, he took his first official step out on Dec. 11, 2013.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

In the days after, Kudat began exploring the beautiful forest around him, getting reacquainted with the sounds and smells of a place he once called home during his pre-zoo years.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

The BSBCC writes that he was very curious about his new environment, marveling at all the tall, climbable trees around him.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

In no time, he remembered how to be wild sun bear again — digging at dead wood in search of insects like termites and beetles, and exploring and roaming the forest in peace.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Today, Kudat is enjoying his new home and his second chance at freedom like never before, reminding us that this is the life that sun bears and other animals truly deserve.


To learn more about the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and bears like Kudat, visit the organization’s website and Facebook, and be sure to check out the BSBCC’s Survival of the Sun Bears campaign, and spread the word!

Lead image source: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre


Fallacy And Absurdity

June, 20, 2013 – 7:11 pm

Fallacy And Absurdity

With the demand of traditional medicine seekers, Sun Bears continue to be at risk of getting hunted in the wild – BSBCC Wong

By Jaswinder Kler

caged20SANDAKAN: Hunted for generations in the jungles of Borneo for the bile from its gall bladder and for food, the Malayan Sun Bear continues to be a target for the ever present global demand in traditional medicine and exotic meat.

The fallacy of the benefits of bile and the idiocy of humans is threatening the world’s smallest bear which is said to have dwindled in numbers by 30 per cent in the last three decades.

Asiatic Black Bears, for example, are kept in unimaginably cruel conditions in small metal cages and their bile extracted for up to 20 years, and then killed once they are unable to produce the liquid.

While there are no bear bile farms in Malaysia, bear bile is consumed locally. Bear gall bladder, bear bile capsules and other bile products are sold illegally in traditional medicine stores.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said natives, particularly in Borneo, traditionally believe that the Sun Bear’s bile ejects itself out of the gall bladder and spreads inside a bear’s body, healing injuries in a fall.

File picture of Sun Bear bile sold at the Gaya Street market in Kota Kinabalu. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

File picture of Sun Bear bile sold at the Gaya Street market in Kota Kinabalu. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

“Sun Bears can climb high up on trees and normally climb down slowly from the tree. However when they encounter human encroachment in the forest when they are on a tree, they tend to slide down quickly or even drop themselves from the tree. They then recover quickly and go about their day.

“This has erroneously made people believe that the phenomenon is due to the power of the Sun Bear bile that spreads within the body and heals the bears, allowing them to recover instantly.

“This is why Sun Bears are traditionally hunted in the wild for their bile, apart from their meat,” Wong said.

With this demand, Sun Bears continue to be at risk of getting hunted in the wild, Wong said in a statement to create awareness on the plight of Sun Bears.

While the actual number of Sun Bears in the wild is unknown, its status as a Totally Protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment and its listing as “Vulnerable” on The IUCN Red List are not keeping those after its bile away from the risk of prosecution.

BSBCC founder and CEO Wong Siew Te with rescued Sun Bear, Natalie. As cubs, bears are cute but the law does not allow anyone to keep them as pets. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

BSBCC founder and CEO Wong Siew Te with rescued Sun Bear, Natalie. As cubs, bears are cute but the law does not allow anyone to keep them as pets. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

Under the Enactment, those found in possession of a Sun Bear or its product could face a fine of up to RM50,000 or a jail term of five years, or both.

Wong said Sun Bears are still hunted in Borneo for their purported medicinal properties, and cited a recent news report on bear meat and parts being sold at a market in Kapit, Sarawak.

Other threats that Sun Bears face include habitat loss and demand for the exotic pet trade.

“Sun Bear cubs are cute and there is demand for such a pet. To get a cub, the mother is killed to prevent hunters from getting harmed. Once these cubs grow, they become aggressive and it becomes dangerous to keep them as pets.

“This is when they are surrendered to the authorities. They lose survival skills when kept as pets, as this is something they learn from their mothers,” he said.

Bears surrendered to or confiscated by the Sabah Wildlife Department are sent to the BSBCC adjacent to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. It is currently home to 28 Sun Bears.

Awareness activities will be stepped up once the BSBCC is officially opened to the public, tentatively by early next year.

The BSBCC is planning to hold a fund raiser on July 20 in Sandakan to meet the ever increasing costs of caring for Sun Bears in captivity and for awareness work.

Sun Bears are also sought after for the pet trade, but problems emerge once the bears grow older and become aggressive. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

Sun Bears are also sought after for the pet trade, but problems emerge once the bears grow older and become aggressive. – Picture courtesy of BSBCC.

The fundraising dinner with the theme “Big Dreams, Little Bears” will see Wong sharing with guests updates on Sun Bears, apart from an exclusive photographic art auction by Jonathan Tan and performances by Jaclyn Victor, Gary Chow, Pink Tan and Amir Yussof and friends.

A free documentary screening is scheduled for July 21 at the Sabah Hotel for 500 students, teachers and representatives of local associations.

The BSBCC is a non-governmental organisation set up in 2008 through collaboration of the Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

Major funders for BSBCC include Yayasan Sime Darby, the federal Tourism Ministry, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, the Sabah State Government and other foreign and local organisations.

To learn more about Sun Bears, visit and Facebook page sunbear.bsbcc.

Two rare Malayan sun bears found in abandoned Cambodian garment factory

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, February 22, 2013 9:15 EST

Sun bear Dawy at Phnom Tamao Zoo south of Phnom Penh in 2008. (AFP)


Two rare Malayan sun bears have been rescued in Cambodia after being discovered in an abandoned garment factory, a zoo official said Friday.

The male and female bears were rescued by officials from the Phnom Tamao Zoo and the Wildlife Alliance, who found them in the factory in southern Kandal province last week, according to zoo director Nhek Rattanak Pich.

“The bears were left with no food and no one to care for them after the factory owner fled the country,” the Wildlife Alliance said on its website.

The group said local authorities had called them after the bears were found in purpose-built cages at the factory, which closed without notice in December.

The bears are now being cared for at the zoo, its director said, adding that he did not know why they had been kept at the factory.

The Malayan sun bear is found primarily in Southeast Asia and is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Bears are among many species that have been decimated by wildlife trafficking in Asia, which is fuelled in large part by China’s massive appetite for exotic meats and animal parts for traditional medicine.


Damai- Captured Sun Bear Cub Now In BSBCC

Text by Dawn Tukalan and photo by Tee Thye Lim

The sun bear cub that was found wondering around at someone’s car porch in a residential area at Damai, Kota Kinabalu has been sent to BSBCC on last 5th November 2012 (Monday night). She was reported and captured by the Civil Defense Department, handed to Lok Kawi Zoo and later sent to BSBCC by Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit.

Baby Damai arrived at BSBCC on 5th Nov 2012, 11pm.
Delivered by Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit.

For more information about how was baby Damai found, please read the articles posted at newspaper few days ago.
Click the link below:

Man Finds Sun Bear Outside His Home – The Stars

Mystery of The Sun Bear At Car Porch – The Stars

Cub Found Could Be Illegally Reared: Dept – Daily Express

We named this female sun bear cub  “Damai”, after the place where she was found. Damai means “peace” in Malay. Weighing at 5kg, we estimated Damai is about 4 months old. When she arrived, she has a strong smell of pandan (an aromatic tropical plant) attached to her as her transportation cage was filled with pandan leaves.

Although baby Damai looks cute, she is no house pet. Please DO NOT keep sun bear as pet!

Baby Damai was fed with milk formula given by the Sabah Wildlife Department’s veterinarians.


She looks healthy and active as she started climbing and biting the things around her including the BSBCC caregiver.

We will try our best to provide her an ideal environment so that she will be back to the forest in the near future.


Keep in touch with us to follow up with Baby Damai’s Story !!


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Ah Bui’s Ah Bui – the story of the latest rescued sun bear at BSBCC

Text by Tee Thye Lim

“Friend” is the people who play an important role in our human daily life. They may be able to be our supporter, person who assists you, giving you a positive effect and sharing most of their life experience with you.

Same as what have happened at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) on 4th May 2012 evening, we received a sun bear from Penampang, named Ah Bui, which means “friend” in local Murut language.

Ah Bui, the latest rescued sun bear at BSBCC

Ah Bui is a female sub-adult sun bear about two year old. She was rescued by Sabah Wildlife Department’s (SWD) Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) on May 2nd in a housing area at Penampang near Kota Kinabalu. The owner claimed that the bear was obtained from Sook at Keningau area.

Ah Bui arrived at our centre on the evening of May 4th.

Staffs from BSBCC and Sabah Wildlife Department moved Ah Bui to her new environment!


Ah Bui being moved to her temporary cage

He is believed to look for a potential buyer of the bear as local market for bear parts still exist. Luckily the SWD’s officer managed to discover and rescued Ah Bui before she end up in cooking pot or as traditional medicine.


Ah Bui means "friend" in local Murut language

Ah Bui is still trying to settle down and adapt slowly to our center environment.
We hope she will get use her new home and make some new “Ah Bui” as well.


So, would you like to be Ah Bui’s Ah Bui?

Handing over official documents from Sabah Wildlife Department to BSBCC

Join us at for getting update with our bears at BSBCC!