Category Archives: LEAP

Team Retreat for BSBCC

In preparation for our upcoming sixth year of operating as the BSBCC, and our transition into being a fully-functioning education center that will be open to the public 7 days a week, we took an important day-and-a-half out of our busy bear schedule for a staff retreat.  We were very grateful to accept facilitation for the retreat from our partner organization LEAP (Land Empowerment Animal People) and leadership in team communication throughout the retreat from LEAP’s CEO and founder, Cynthia Ong.

During our time at the retreat, we created a timeline of each team member’s introduction with the centre, along with positive and negative experiences, which was inspiring and enlightening for us all. We also spend time discussing various aspects of the BSBCC that affect our overall progress, our ideals for successful rehabilitation and centre management, as well as, aspects that we look forward to developing.  It was an engaging opportunity for the BSBCC team and LEAP to reiterate our mission, goals and vision for a successful centre and healthy transition into the new and improved Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre of 2014 and beyond.





    DSCN0922 DSCN0926  DSCN0930DSCN0951DSCN0944DSCN0963DSCN0968DSCN0967

Wong’s Christmas message



A picture worth a thousand words.

The photos of Suria the sun bear tell the story of one of 21 rescued sun bears currently house in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. From the traumatic early life, Suria been through a lot since she was a little sun bear cub:  her mother being poached, she was being captured, kept as a pet in a small filthy metal cage.  Suria is now lives in her new bear house and spend time in her primary forest enclosure climbing trees and digging soil. Her life literally transformed from one end to the other after she was sent to BSBCC.

Beside Suria, there are 20 more sun bears: Cerah, Kuamut, Manis, Om, An Chong, etc., all been through similar experiences, but are now living in a better environment and receiving adequate care at BSBCC. Just few hours before I write this message, a baby sun bear was sent to BSBCC, another victim from habitat loss, poaching, and pet trade. We name this latest rescued sun bear cub, “Natalie”.

All of our rescued bears have a new life because your helps and supports to make BSBCC a success. The establishment of BSBCC is what we believe as the first step to help and save sun bears: starting from rescuing caged sun bears, follow by educating people about the plight of sun bears and their vulnerable habitat, and finally conserve the species across its range in SE Asia. This year, we have overcome many challenges for this ambitious project. We have completed the construction of our new bear house and forest enclosures, and have our initial 12 bears moved to their new home. Soon after, we have rescued another nine more sun bears, filling up our carrying capacity quickly, including our latest rescuee Natalie. With your generous donation, we managed to pay for the bear food, staff’s salaries, the constructions and maintenance costs, and run the centre as planned. Last month, the Malaysian federal government agreed to provide funding for the construction of additional bear house, forest enclosures, and visitor facilities to complete the construction phase of this project! In other words, we have the full funding for the construction of the entire centre!

Our successes so far are not because of pure luck, but a lot of hard works from many people, locally and internationally. We have suceeded because of your believes, helps, and supports. We have suceeded because of the great team works joining forces and make the impossible become possible! With your helps and supports, we have a fruitful year in 2010 to bring a better life for our rescued sun bears and to raise the awareness on sun bear conservation across the world. However, our works will not stop here or slowing down. There are more caged sun bears needed to be rescued, and more sun bear habitat needed to be protected. We are looking forward to face these challenges and hoping to accomplish more the coming new year of 2011.

As for myself, I am completing my doctorate study in USA and will be reporting for duty on site at BSBCC early next year. Setting up BSBCC has been my dream for many years and I am SO excited to return and to serve my home country and base at this facility permanently. After all, this is my destiny and what I was trained for: to do conservation, education, research, and rehabilitation works on sun bear, wildlife and their habitat.     

On behalf of BSBCC and all the sun bears (and of course myself and my family), I would like to THANK all of YOU for your helps and supports. Without your helps and supports, Suria and other sun bears would not be able to climb REAL trees, dig the soils, and roam the forest enclosures at BSBCC.

Please always visit our blog/website to learn about our latest developments and stories of our bears: and to learn what you can do to help us:

Finally, at this holiday season, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New YEAR!

Big sun bear hugs,


Siew Te Wong
CEO and Founder,
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
[email protected]

Wong w bear feeding-b



The beneficiary of BSBCC cause has changed from Wildlife Direct to Land Empowerment Animal People Land (LEAP)


Dear friends of the sun bears,

I am pleased to announce that the beneficiary of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Cause <> has changed from Wildlife Direct to Land Empowerment Animal People (LEAP), an NGO that is based in both Sabah and US. With this change, LEAP will help BSBCC collect all the donations from this cause. LEAP is the “mother” of BSBCC who gave birth to this project to help save sun bears in Borneo. Over the past few years, the LEAP team in both Sabah and USA have been working around to clock to help us secure funding, facilitate fund raising efforts, and running the project on the ground. I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Wildlife Direct and LEAP for their help to bring a better future for sun bears.

Today I am surprised and happy to see the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre facebook causes has successfully recruited 3,350 members. This number means a lot to us because the sun bear, being the least known bear and a forgotten bear species, has at least three thousand people across the world aware of their plight and our work to help sun bears from suffering and disappearing from the wild.

Thanks to all of you, we have come this far. Please continue helping us to spread the word about sun bears and our work. By simply repost our bulletins and blogs on your facebook or other networking tools, you are helping sun bears by raising the conservation awareness and the plight of this little cute but unknown bear species. Even better, actively ask your friends to join this cause so that they become a member of the sun bear family too! Additionally, you can help us raise funds to help the sun bear from your birthday wishes!

I know all of you love sun bears. I am sure that the sun bears love you too. With the completion of Phase 1 of the project last month, we are leaping a big step forward to help sun bears. Your support is always needed to help us bring a better future for the sun bears.

Besides this facebook cause<>  , we also have a twitter page for BSBCC at
Please feel free to tweet us!

Thank you!
Big sun bear hugs,


A short trip into the forest – BSBCC

by – Bob (BATs – Bear Action Teams)

Original posted at:

On 30th April, 2009 Ian Hall and I took a trip down to Sepilok with the express purpose of getting bitten by leeches, cover ourselves in scratches, insect bites, exhaust ourselves and get very sweaty. These objectives were reached with ease and we are both feeling pretty pleased with ourselves (an a little bit itchy!)

During our trip into the forest Ian had his binoculars permanently fixed to his eyes as he tracked the movements of every bird in the areas and I enjoyed more of those quiet sit down and smoke moments than was probably good for me.

The trip was a success from another angle! I secured a new girlfriend! Suria (2 year old bear) and I had our ‘first date’ and all the signs are positive for our future relationship.


All the enjoyment noted above was in the pursuit of some real goals. We managed to ‘recce’ an area of jungle with a view to creating a jungle camp for volunteers, plan the work sites and allocations of labour forces, survey the ‘enclosure’, inspect the drainage system for the existing bear house and establish the locations of the material suppliers in Sandakan.

Suria getting used to her new ‘room’

So now it’s back to KK for the paper work and plan for the next one.

It’s fun working for LEAP!

A brand new look at LEAP new website!

For many of you who consider me as the “daddy” of sun bears, then “mommy” of BSBCC must belong to Cynthia Ong, the director of LEAP. LEAP is a NGO founded by Cynthia Ong, base in Sabah with a US office in Oakland, California, USA.


“LEAP – Land Empowerment Animals People – trailblazes to discover new ways which provoke sustainable ecological co-existence, in engagement with communities, government, civil society and industry, by building partnerships and collaborations that create mutually transformative processes which seek to balance the needs of all.  We work within the divides and gaps to bridge between fragmented and isolated groups, with the intention to build connections and common ground where new conversations can lead to new understanding and new solutions that serve the greater global community of land, animals and people.”

I met Cynthia in 2006 when I was desperately (“dying” to be more appropriate) searching for funding to conduct my field work on sun bear and bearded pigs in Danum Valley, Sabah. That meeting changed my life thereafter because through  Cynthia and LEAP, I received supports from Alexander Abraham Foundation (AAF) and get to know Nancy Abraham, President of AAF. It was the continuous encouragements and supports in many ways (long story to tell), I founded BSBCC last year, with Cynthia being the co-directors, and LEAP, Sabah Wildlife Department, and Sabah Forestry Department, being the partners to manage and setting up BSBCC on the ground.

I am very grateful to LEAP and the LEAP team under the leadership of Cynthia for their help all these years, to bring us from nothing to something. It will be more to come I am sure. Our goals are of course to understand (which I spent the last 10 years trying to do so), to care, to help, and finally to save the little forgotten bear- the sun bears. Just like what Jane Goodall said:

“Only if we understand, can we care.
Only if we care, will we help.
Only if we help, shall they be saved.”

— Jane Goodall (1990)

So please join me to visit the new LEAP website. You can learn so much about this new but productive NGO that aim to bring a better tomorrow for LEAP – Land, Empowerment, Animals, People.

Currently LEAP is running 17 projects in Sabah. You can learn about this project at the website too.


How can you help? The best way is to support us and LEAP. Donations can be easily make via online donation. Together, we can make a difference!