Repost from http://leapspiral.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bsbcc-latest-news-july-2011/
MORE NEW BEARS
Two more new bears arrived at BSBCC on 22nd April 2011. Named Mamatai and Wan Wan, both are adult females and were transferred to BSBCC from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Kota Kinabalu by Sabah Wildlife Department.
Mamatai and Wan Wan in their temporary pen in the old bear house at BSBCC. (Photo: Paul Clenton)
Several local contractors have submitted tenders for the BSBCC observation platform and access boardwalk construction and we hope that work will start in August this year. Meanwhile the search is still ongoing for funding for the construction of the remainder of the proposed buildings, ie. the new bear house and its forest enclosures and the visitor reception and new bear holding areas.
NETWORKING & SPREADING AWARENESS
In June, Wong and Wai Pak attended the Asia for Animals 2011 conference in Chengdu, China, hosted by Animals Asia Foundation. Later on in June, they also took part in the Borneo Carnivores Symposium, held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which brought together leading carnivore researchers working in Borneo.
Wong delivering his talk on ’The Holistic Approach of BSBCC to conserve sun bears in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo’ in Chengdu
Wai Pak on a field trip to the centre for rescued moon bears near Chengdu
An innovative event held by volunteers and supporters of BSBCC on Facebook raised an amazing USD4,152 through just two days of donations and a special on-line prize draw of donated sun bear items like paintings, artwork, soft toys and bags, from June 11-12, 2011. Many thanks to everyone involved!
None other than the man deemed the ‘Greenest Person on the Planet’ in 2008 by 3rd Whale in Canada, Matthias Gelber, visited BSBCC on 3rd June to learn more about sun bears. BSBCC also collaborated with the Sabah Forestry Department Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) to present a talk by Matthias to RDC Junior Rangers, local teachers and headmasters, parents and some visitors, at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre AV room during the visit.
Matthias and friends at BSBCC’s new bear house
Caroline Gabel, long-time supporter of Wong’s research and BSBCC, paid a visit on 17th June 2011 with Wong to see for herself the good work being carried out at the Centre. Caroline is the CEO and Founder of the US-based Shared Earth Foundation, and a passionate advocate of wildlife conservation.
Caroline and Wong in the new bear house
BSBCC was also happy to welcome sun bear researcher Gabriella Fredriksson from the Sun Bear Environmental Education and Research Centre near Balikpapan in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Gabriella stayed from 25th-30th June, exchanging ideas and expertise with Wong and Wai Pak and discussing future collaboration with BSBCC.
Gabriela showing Danial, Roshan, and Wai Pak how to conduct bear transect study in the forest.
On 29th July BSBCC was very excited to receive a visit from Joe Pontecorvo, the Producer and Director of the film series Bear Trek and also Bears of the Last Frontier. Joe was part of the team that previously filmed Wong carrying out his research in 2007.
Joe Pontecorvo photographing Keningau who obligingly put in an appearance near the enclosure fencing
Introduction of the bears to the forest enclosures is progressing well and now four more of the females are entering the enclosures daily. Linggham, whom we reported on in the last update, is now confidently roaming through his forest pen, but as with all the adult males is yet to venture up a tree!
Adult female Jelita honing her tree climbing skills in the forest enclosure
Susie concentrating on breaking open a coconut and Keningau contemplating climbing a small tree!