Category Archives: Emma Thompson

BSBCC latest news

http://leapspiral.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/bsbcc-latest-news-2/

WELCOME BACK WONG!

Wong Siew Te, BSBCC founder and CEO, reported for full-time duty at BSBCC on 14th February 2011, after fulfilling the requirements for his PhD at the University of Montana in the US. As well as overseeing forthcoming fundraising and building construction at BSBCC, Wong will begin plans for the reintroduction stage of the project, where bears will be put back in the wild, as well as carrying out additional studies on the bears currently at BSBCC and developing awareness and education activities.

Wong getting re-acquainted with the bears at BSBCC.

Wong getting re-acquainted with the bears at BSBCC.

FUNDING FOR PHASES 2 AND 3 CONSTRUCTION

In March 2011 BSBCC was informed by partner Sabah Wildlife Department that funding had been approved under the Malaysian Federal Government 10th Malaysia Plan for the Observation Platform and the trails leading to it, the Access Boardwalk from the main Sepilok car park to BSBCC and the upgrading of the access roads to the buildings. While this is great news, it means we still have to continue looking for funding for the other components, namely the visitor briefing area, the new bear holding area, environmental education hardware, and the all-important second new bear house.

At present, technical drawings are being finalized for all the components of Phase 2 and 3 and the next step will be calling for tenders for those components with approved funding.

MORE NEW ARRIVALS

Since the last update in October 2010, two new bears have arrived at BSBCC: Rungus, an adult female confiscated from an animal collection in northern Sabah, and Natalie, a very young female cub surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department by a member of the public. Both these bears are being temporarily kept in the old bear house until they can be integrated with the resident bears in the new bear house.

Arrival of Rungus at BSBCC – staff Wai Pak, David and Daniel lifting the cage.

Arrival of Rungus at BSBCC – staff Wai Pak, David and Daniel lifting the cage.

Natalie being bottle fed by Wai Pak after arriving at BSBCC on 23rd December 2010. Four months later Natalie is now almost fully weaned onto solid food and weighing in at a healthy 20kg

Natalie being bottle fed by Wai Pak after arriving at BSBCC on 23rd December 2010. Four months later Natalie is now almost fully weaned onto solid food and weighing in at a healthy 20kg

  

Natalie enjoying the feeling of grass and playing with leaves after settling in at BSBCC.

Natalie enjoying the feeling of grass and playing with leaves after settling in at BSBCC.

FOREST TRAINING

Introduction to the forest enclosures at BSBCC is continuing slowly but surely and adult male bear Om and five females from the new bear house are becoming more and more accustomed to their new forest home at BSBCC and spending most of each day outside and even climbing trees!

Young female Suria relaxed and confident up a tree in the forest enclosure.

Young female Suria relaxed and confident up a tree in the forest enclosure.

Training with the other bears is on-going and in mid-April adult male Linggam made his first tentative steps out of his pen into the forest enclosure. Linggam is gaining confidence every day and spending longer and longer outside, digging and exploring his new forest environment.

inggam being lured out of his pen with the help of fruits!

inggam being lured out of his pen with the help of fruits!

SAD NEWS – BSBCC LOSES TWO BEARS

2011 got off to a sad start when on 1st January, young male bear Toby died after being attacked by four adult females who managed to get into Toby’s pen from an adjoining pen by forcing open the locked sliding door. The locking mechanism for the pens has since been reviewed. Subsequently, on 15th February, adult male bear Ah Chong died of natural causes in his pen. This brings the present total number of bears at BSBCC to 19.

SURPRISE VIPs at BSBCC!

On 9th April, BSBCC was surprised and delighted when ‘Avatar’ and ‘Gorillas in the Midst’ star Sigourney Weaver appeared at BSBCC and were thrilled when she showed great interest in the bears and their conservation, promising to support BSBCC any way she could on her return to the US.

inggam being lured out of his pen with the help of fruits!

From left: BSBCC staff Wai Pak and David, volunteer Shauna Tay, Sigourney Weaver, Wong, volunteer Paul Clenton and BSBCC staff Daniel.

Meanwhile renowned British actress Emma Thompson with her husband Greg Wise and daughter Gaia made a special visit to BSBCC on 18th April, 2011 after hearing about the sun bears while on a family holiday in Sabah. Ms Thompson has pledged her support and promised to take the message about sun bears back to the West and help promote BSBCC.

Top left: Shauna, Greg Wise, Paul and Daniel. Bottom left: Wong, Emma Thompson, Gaia and Wai Pak.

Top left: Shauna, Greg Wise, Paul and Daniel. Bottom left: Wong, Emma Thompson, Gaia and Wai Pak.

Emma sportingly signing sun bear tshirts to be used for fundraising for BSBCC

Emma sportingly signing sun bear tshirts to be used for fundraising for BSBCC

Emma loves sun bears!

Remember two weeks ago British actress Emma Thompson met me for the first time and championed the “most beautiful little creature” in Kota Kinabalu? After the last meeting, Emma together with her husband Greg Wise and daughter Gaia have been visited almost all ecotourism hot spots in Sabah-Danum Valley, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kinabatangan River, Sipadan, etc.  Yesterday was their last stop in Sabah, visiting the sun bears at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

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The family stayed at the centre all day long to learn everything and anything about this little known bears. This was the first time Emma and her family encountered with the Bornean sun bears and realized how little they were compared to the giant Alaskan brown bears! Their up-close-and personal experience with the bears, and learned all about the sun bears from me, was most memorable.  Gaia especially, fell in love with the sun bears and promised to come back in 7 years when she is old enough to become a volunteer at the age of 18!  Beside our long discussions on the plights of sun bears and casual conversation, the family also watched the newly produced documentary “Big Dream Little Bears” -the story about the new life of our rescue sun bears in BSBCC filmed a year ago.

Emma Thompson and her family were extremely sincere and humble. She is so kind to autograph several T-shirts and bags with her personal message to the world- save the sun bears! These t-shirts and bags were to be auctioned at fund raising events for BSBCC at facebook on June 11-12, and another fund raising event in Sandakan on July. Thank you Emma!

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The sun bears for sure have a new friend since yesterday! Besides gaining additional world famous friend, the bears also gain a spokeswoman who would speak on their behalf. Even better, at the end of the day, Emma became the patron for both BSBCC and the UK Charity Sun Bear Conservation Trust. The connection between Emma Thompson and the sun bears has established.

Emma will be back for the sun bears!        

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