Text by Seng Yen Wah
Photos by Chiew Lin May
Along, a 6 year old male bear and Simone, an 8 year old female bear, are the newest arrivals at BSBCC. Both of them were kept in a Mini Zoo and Hot Springs in Tawau. In the January of 2016, they were surrendered to the Sabah Wildlife Department and were quarantined at Lok Kawi Zoo, Kota Kinabalu.
Along and Simone arrived on the same day. Along the journey, the hot weather and long hours meant they had gone through a lot in a same day. When Along first arrived at BSBCC, he was pacing aggressively inside the cage and kept barking at people, especially when they went close to him. Compared to Along, Simone was much calmer. Bear keepers used a lot of effort to move them to our cages. Now BSBCC is their new home.
In the very first week, the bear house was still a very new and strange place for them. Most of the time they stayed on the basket. They were very alert, especially Along. When people got close to Along, he would give them a warning bark and showed aggressiveness. Simone adapted faster than Along in this new environment. She likes to explore the enrichment. Before they were here, bear keepers prepared enrichment for them such as dry leaves and decayed wood. Simone shows a lot of curiosity and interest in the enrichment.
Besides that, they had no appetite in the beginning. This may be because we serve foods which are different than what they usually have and they were still very alert with the environment. Hence, we started to introduce different foods to them like nicely cut papaya, watermelon and so on. Lastly, we found out that both of them like to drink oats with milk. When we brought them the tray, they climbed down from the basket and waited for you and it’s their favourite food as well. Besides that, Simone loves honey. Conversely, Along likes coconut. Along likes to spend his time opening the coconut. When he swapped cage with Simone, he ate Simone’s coconut too. Simone did not mind her coconut being eaten by Along.
Now they have a good appetite. Along appears less aggressive. He spends more time exploring the environment through staying on the ground with dry leaves and dead woods. Simone spends most of her time on the enrichment. Besides this, she enjoys resting on the basket or sitting on the water container too. Now they are better, Along and Simone are staying happily in BSBCC.