Category Archives: Visitors

1 UTAMA’S FEED -THE -FISH & RECYCLE-A-BOTTLE CAMPAIGNS RM12,000 FOR BSBCC

Photos by : Jeremy Jeffrey

PRESS RELEASE – 1 UTAMA’S FEED -THE -FISH & RECYCLE A BOTTLE CAMPAIGNS RM12,000 FOR BSBCC

One of the most successful and longest running ‘Go Green’ campaigns launched in 2004, 1 Utama’s Feed-The Fish Charity Campaign was introduced in line with the mall’s award winning Rainforest – a flourishing tropical oasis built right in the middle of the busy shopping centre. This unique feature attracts thousands of shoppers who enjoy strolling through the Rainforest to relax in the cool and green environment. Over 3,000 koi fishes reside here, swimming through interconnected ponds across two floors.

With a dual purpose of raising funds and keeping the fishes happy and fed, 1 Utama sponsors and packages fish food for sale available daily at the Feed-The-Fish kiosk at Lower Ground Floor Rainforest. Shoppers then buy the fish food for RM1.00 per container to literally feed the fishes for a good cause. 100% of sales proceeds are then donated to a charitable organization. For 2015, 1 Utama has nominated NGO Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sabah as its beneficiary. A cheque amounting to RM12,000 was handed over by 1 Utama’s A&P General Manager Patrick So to BSBCC’s CEO and Founder Wong Siew Te in the presentation ceremony yesterday, 26th August 2015 in Sandakan, Sabah.

Mr.Wong Siew Te explaining about our Centre to 1 Utamas Staff and media.

“The funds will go towards purchasing essentials and medicine for the bears’ annual health check. The contribution from 1 Utama and its shoppers is a big help in covering these expenses to meet the costs of rehabilitation and better the lives of our bears” said Wong.

Established in 2008, the BSBCC currently houses more than 30 rescued sun bears in two bear houses and a quarantine facility. Amazingly, the Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest and least well known of the eight species of bears in the world. With strong claws, sun bears are expert climbers and make nests that look exactly the same as those of orangutans.

“Sun bears are in danger from threats of habitat loss through deforestation and poaching. There is an urgent need to conserve this protected species and 1 Utama is delighted to play our part. We have developed educational posters and videos of this project so that more of our shoppers are aware of their plight” commented So.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr.Wong explaining about The Education Nature Aquarium Project (ENAP).

“Since 1 Utama’s Rainforest was conceptualised to spread awareness on nature and to preserve the beauty of the rainforest, it is especially meaningful for 1 Utama to partner with BSBCC as an integral part of the mall’s ‘Go Green’ community projects. It is so heartening to see that our shoppers are still very supportive of Feed-The-Fish for the past 11 years.”

Previous Feed-The-Fish beneficiaries include Malaysian Nature Society to raise funds to protect the Temengor Forest Reserve in Perak, HOPE (Help Our Penyu) for sea turtle conservation, Zoo Negara to adopt Malaysian elephant Teriang, and WWF-Malaysia to help re-establish the fish population in Sabah’s Molleangan Island.

To complement Feed-The-Fish at the Rainforest, 1 Utama also started a sister charity campaign called Recycle-A-Bottle in 2009. Giant bins shaped like bottles are constructed and placed around the mall so that shoppers can conveniently drop used plastic water bottles. The bottles are then collected by 1 Utama and sent for recycling. Recycling funds raised are also donated to BSBCC.

Discuss something with 1 Utama A&P General Manager , Mr Patrick So , Li Lian (PR Manager) and Joey Chong ( PR Senior Executive).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The audince was eager to hear briefing from Mr. Wong

Mr. Wong gave short briefing about the sun bears and our Centre.

Mr. Wong gave a talk about the sun bears and our Centre.

Mr. Patrick gave some speech about the campaigns to Mr Wong.

Mr. Patrick gave some speech about the campaigns to Mr Wong.

A cheque replica amounting to RM12,000 was handed over by 1 Utama’s A&P General Manager Patrick So to BSBCC’s CEO and Founder Wong Siew Te

Mr Wong gave a souvenir of appreciation to Mr Patrick

Got interviewed from NTV7 station t.v

Interviewed from The Star reporter

Gloria Ganang (BSBCC Environmental Education Executive) informing about our centre operations to Mr.Patrick .

Group photo!

Joey sign the visitors book before they left

Notable Visitors (March – April 2015)

Text and Photos by BSBCC

During the morning of 3rd March, Tom Stalf, President and CEO of Columbus Zoo and his staffs came to our Centre. Mr. Wong Siew Te gave them a tour around our Centre. Thus, we would like to use this opportunity to thank Tom and Columbus Zoo for helping sun bears and our Centre throughout these years.

Tom Shalf (right) receiving souvenir from Mr. Wong Siew Te.

Thank you for visiting us!

On the next month, 27th April, the new Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, Tn. William Baya came to our Centre for a visit. Together with the VIPs were the general manager of Rasa Ria Resort Mr. Jean-Michel, Mr. Sail Jamaludin, Dr. Sen Nathan, Dr. Toshinori Tsubouchi and many others. We are honoured to have him here as his first visit to BSBCC. Mr. Wong personally gave a presentation and guided him to the platform to see the bears in our natural forest enclosure. They were all really pleased to see our Centre doing well.

Tn. William Baya (left), Mr. Wong Siew Te (middle) and Mr. Jean-Marc Michel (right) walking towards our visitor centre.

Spreading the information through our information signboard.

Mr. Wong Siew Te proudly giving a presentation.

Tn. William Baya, spotting one of the sun bear resting on the forest floor!!!

Luckily, two sun bears spotted foraging for food near the observation platform.

Group photo with Tn. William Baya and the VIPs.

Local Primary School Visit to BSBCC

We are very grateful that we are visited by the students from the local school SJK (C) Tai Tong. A total of 103 students with 19 school teachers turned up. We really had a fun time and are so glad to share the stories of the sun bears to these kids!

Introducing the 8 bear species of the world

The expressions of the kids when seeing a picture of a sun bear extending its long tongue

Although packed with very busy schedules, we are so glad that Wong could spare some time to meet these kids!

They also get to see Mamatai climb up a tree from a close distance!

Giving away little gifts for answering quiz questions correctly!

He won some sun bear stickers!

 

 

 

50th Anniversary Celebration of the Wildlife Conservation in Sabah

Text by Chiew Lin May
Photos by Gloria Ganang & Chiew Lin May

An event was held at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah to capture the effort of wildlife conservation in Sabah and also in conjunction with the “Sabah Wildlife Department’s 50 Years anniversary celebration”. On last week (4th October 2013 till 6th October 2013), three of the BSBCC team members, Gloria, Ernie and myself where involve in this event. This event is an educational and public awareness programme focusing on the wildlife conservation activities in Sabah.  The motto of this event is “Past, Present and Future” (Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya in malay language).

Several exhibitions were carried out by government agencies and NGOs to encourage people about the issue of protecting wildlife and their habitat such as

a)      Sabah Wildlife Department


b)      Tabin Wildlife Reserve Resort

c)       Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

d)      Bornean Conservation Trust (BCT)

Elephant satellite collar – This collaring activity is one of the components of the Mega Biodiversity Corridor programme initiated by Bornean Conservation Trust (BCT), which aims to enhance forest ecosystem connectivity and ecological corridors within key habitats of the Bornean elephant.

e)      WWF

f)       Sabah Swiftlet House & Bird’s Nest Industry Association (SWIFIN)

g)      Tuaran Crocodile Farm


h)      Reef Guardian

The public are invited to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is run by Sabah Wildlife Department. The park consists of zoological and botanical component.

We set our booth near opposite is the elephant enclosure.

On October 4 2013, we held the opening ceremony at 9.30am. A memorandum of agreement between the Sabah Wildlife Department, The Reef Dive Resort, Tours, and Sipadan Pom-Pom Island was signed for the protection of four marine turtles in Malaysia and their habitats.


Gloria is introduce our sun bear booth and BSBCC work.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Kamarlin Ombi and Wildlife Department Deputy Director, Augustine Tuuga visiting sun bear booth. Gloria was explaining the works of BSBCC to the VIP Visitors.

Datuk Kamarlin Ombi and Augustine Tuuga was looking at the bear profile book.

Our teams are spreading the word of this forgotten species.

It is very important to creating more awareness about sun bears among the public.

Gloria is give some questions about sun bear to the kids.

Throughout the celebration, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park conducted various fun activities such as:

a)      Up-close and personal with two elephant calf

–   Wildlife Rescue Unit staff brought the elephant calves out and discussed the current threats that the Borneo Pygmy elephant is facing      in Sabah.

b)      Colouring contest

–   Involved children one to twelve years old, and allowed them to express their artistry, creativity, and love for animals through wonderful colors.

Look like sun bear become brown bear!

c)      Story telling contest

– Involved the secondary school students and the title of their story had to focus on the challenges and responsibilities around   protecting wildlife in Sabah. This story telling helps conserve wildlife by raising awareness around the threats that endangered animals  in Sabah are facing.


d)      Story telling contest

–  Involved the primary school students and the title of their story had to focus on the awareness that students have about our natural environment. Children are great fans of stories and love to listen to them. This contest plays a role into creating more awareness among the public.

e)      Photography contest

f)      Face painting

–   A face painting booth- one thing that all kids love! This is a great activity which kids and adults can choose their favorite animals and have their faces painted in resemblance.

Gloria get a footprint in her hand!




 

g)      Wildlife Game

–  A group of five students with one teacher is involved in this game. This is an adventurous learning activity related to wildlife. From the game, two questions are related to sun bears.

Question 1: What is the scientific name for the sun bear?

Question 2: What is the smallest bear in the world?

h)      Catch the entertaining animal show at the Park’s Amphitheatre.

 

i)      Recycled clothing contest

–   Students created new designs and fashions using reusable items and their imaginations. Examples of the recycled materials they used are bottle caps, aluminium can tabs, wire, juice boxes, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, string, and feathers. The purpose of this activity is to create public awareness regarding the importance of saving the planet and the environmental benefits that recycling provides.



j)      Eco-Fashion show by Miss Earth Sabah

–   Recycled clothing is making waves in the fashion industry. In this fashion show all of the clothes were made from aluminium foil, DVDs, glass, metal, candy wrappers, and other recycled materials. The concept behind clothing made from recycled material supports saving the planet and would result in less pollution for a sustainable planet.


Thank you for supporters that support our sun bear!!

This event was a wonderful opportunity to learn about a variety of animals at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and share knowledge with the public. I really hope that this event helped raise awareness about the wildlife issues happening in Sabah, and encouraged people to react in ways that promote saving and conserving the Borneo wildlife habitat.

Visit from Miami University

Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Tee Thye Lim

Students from Miami Dragonfly Classes, Miami University recently visited BSBCC. The students were divided into 2 groups:

Borneo I: 18 students & 2 instructors came on 10th June 2013
Borneo II: 19 students & 2 instructors came on 21st June 2013.

Wong, BSBCC’s CEO & Founder gave the students an exclusive tour. He also gave an outstanding talk on sun ans shared his personal experiences in doing research on sun bears.

Borneo I students: Watching one of the sun bears climbing a tree

Wong giving a talk about sun bears at the platform

Borneo II group session with Wong

Group photo with Borneo II !

 

Learning about enrichment for sun bears at BSBCC

Text by Gloria Ganang & photo by Tee Thye Lim

The kids from the ISS International School have selected the BSBCC as one of their destinations for their Borneo trip. Thanks to APE Malaysia, we managed to team up and get these kids to learn about the importance of enrichment for sun bears in captivity.  A total of 29 13-14 year old kids involved and they were accompanied by their 4 teachers.

It all started with an introduction talk about sun bears and the BSBCC.

It all started with an introduction talk about sun bears and the BSBCC

Introducing the BSBCC

Then the students were brought to the platform and the bear house to do a pre enrichment observation on the bears. In other words is they get to see how the bears behave without any enrichment given.

Then, the fun part! ENRICHMENT MAKING!!

Materials for making enrichment

Materials for making enrichment

The kids were briefed about "Safe enrichment for the bears" by Thye Lim

The kids were briefed about “safe enrichment for sun bears” by Thye Lim

Eliminating plastic tapes from the cardboards

Eliminating plastic tapes from the cardboards

no staples

Staples aren’t safe for the bears

The bears would love these for the enrichment

The bears would love these in their enrichment

"What should be made out of these egg trays?"

“What should be made out of these egg trays?”

Using ropes made of natural fiber for tying up enrichments

Using ropes made of natural fiber to tye up enrichments

Spreading bits of herbs and spices on a ginger leaf

Spreading bits of herbs and spices on a ginger leaf

Yup!the kids were working hard for the bears!

Everyone is so focused

The ISS kids and their completed enrichment

Looking good!

Everybody managed to complete their enrichment in 20 minutes (thats fast!). They did a very good job in creating them using the provided materials (cardboard, egg trays, various kinds of herbs & spices, beans, ginger leaves, hessian sack etc).

The bears could smell their “toys” from afar as the kids were bringing them closer. They were curious and couldn’t wait to check out whats coming ahead. Everything was quickly ripped apart, however the bears continued to check out every remain pieces until the end of the day. Not forgetting the macaques that shares the forest enclosure, they got entertained by the enrichment as well.

It was another interesting day for the bears at the BSBCC as these enrichment were different from the daily enrichment provided by the BSBCC staff. Thanks to the ISS kids, you all definitely made a difference.

Not forgetting your kind donations to the centre, we really appreciate them!

ISS kids presenting their donations to BSBCC

ISS kids presenting their donations to BSBCC

When They Know That Koala Is Not A Bear

Text and photo by Tee Thye Lim

“Is the Koala a bear species?”
Asked our Project Manager, Wai Pak to the primary school students of SK. St. Gabriel who visited our centre on the 23 Oct 2012.

 

Wai Pak giving a short briefing to the SK St. Gabriel students
before they were brought in for a tour at BSBCC.

 

“Yes, because it looks like a bear!”
A little girl raised up her hand and answered.

“No! Koala is not a bear!”
A little boy refuted from the opposite side. The argument continued for about 3 minutes until Wai Pak announced the answer.

“No, Koala is not a bear species, it is a type of the Marsupial, same family with the kangaroos” said Wai Pak.

 

The different facial expressions of the students after learning
that the Koala is not a bear

 

Most of the kids have an idea of a sun bear. They’ve  seen it on TV programmes, perhaps on the internet, however not in a natural environment.

Some of them also mentioned about the local TV programme, TV3 which aired  a documentary about BSBCC last week end: <Sunshine in Sepilok: Tales of the Bornean Sun Bears>

Later, knowing that they were about to see real, life Bornean sun bears, the smallest among the smallest of the bears in the world, the kids couldn’t wait.

 

The young generations’ curiosity of the nature is always the
best inspiration of mother Earth conservation

The SK St. Gabriel students at first did not see the Sun Bears roaming at the visible spot.

Fortunately, they were able to join the  second group of visitors on that day which was the students of the American International School of Hong Kong, guided by the Animal Projects & Environmental Education (APE) Malaysia team.

This time everyone was able to spot the sun bears. More excitingly, sun bears climbing the trees!

 

 

The American International School of Hong Kong group were then invited to watch the BSBCC documentary  <Big Dream Little Bears>.

 

Wai Pak giving a short introduction about the documentary

 

At the end of the visit, SK. St. Gabriel presented a drawing to BSBCC. It was inspiring! Thank you so much!

 

Wai Pak (left) and Wong (centre) receiving the drawing
from SK St. Gabriel

 

Also, many thanks to APE Malaysia team for your donations! Not forgetting the hessian sacks you brought us. The bears will definitely love rubbing themselves on them!

Lastly and most importantly, thank you for sparing time and efforts to visit our Centre. It was such a great opportunity for us to share the needs of this small small bear species!

Representative of the American International School group (right) handing over donation to BSBCC, represented by Wai Pak (left)

Thank you  SK. St. Gabriel!
Thank you APE Malaysia and American International School of Hong Kong!

We hope to see you again!

More than 200 pupils from the local school visited the BSBCC

Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim

The BSBCC team was expecting a visit from the local primary school, SRK (C) Chi Hwa, Sandakan on the 16th October 2012. A total of 236 standard 6 (12 year olds) pupils came to the Centre on that day . They were accompanied by 17  dedicated teachers and their headmistress, Mdm Ooi Mee Har.

Yes, it was a big number! In fact the biggest number of visitors we had so far coming in one day. They all did not come at one time. Instead, the pupils were separated into 7 groups and 1 group came at one time.

Arrival of the pupils

Welcoming the pupils to the Centre

The first group arrived at 9.30 am. Not having much idea of what to expect, all were excited when they were told that they were about to see the smallest bear in the world! It was amazing how silent they were along their way to the platform. Perhaps their teachers have taught them well of how to respect and appreciate nature. We were so impressed.

As soon as they reached the platform, all spread around and took their best place to look for the sun bears hiding in the forest enclosure. Some groups were lucky and saw the interesting behavior of the  sun bears climbing up the trees.  The BSBCC team took this opportunity to share about the sad stories of why the bears are currently at the Centre.

Explaining about sun bear behavior at the observationplatform

Explaining about sun bear behavior at the observation platform

How much do you think the chain weigh?

Showing the actual chain that used to be worn by one of
the bears when she was kept as a pet

The visit ended at 3.00 pm. I think the team did a wonderful job. Now an additional 253 people know about the sun bears! Special thanks to Madam Ooi and her team of teachers who had made all this possible!

Nanyang Technological University students visit BSBCC

Text and photos by Gloria Ganang

A group of 12 Singaporean students from Nanyang Technological University visited the centre today at 3pm. They are journalism students and spent few hours at our observation platform watching the sun bears at the enclosure as well as an interview session with Wong. Thanks for visiting us and help us spread the words about sun bears! Cheers!

British High Commissioner visits the BSBCC

Text by Gloria Ganang and photos by Tee Thye Lim

On the beautiful sunny morning of the 14th August 2012, the BSBCC team started the day with a preparation for a remarkable visit of the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Simon Featherstone and his family. Also present during the visit was the Council’s guests, Shire President of Boyup Mr. Michael Giles and his family, the Australian Defence Adviser and Deputy Defence Adviser as well as the new Deputy Director, Office of Australian War Graves, Canberra. Their visit to Sepilok was their first time. The BSBCC team are so honored to welcome them!

They arrived at 2pm, just in time for the bears’ 3rd feeding of the day in the forest enclosure. They were welcomed by the Officer in Charge of the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC), Madam Sylvia Alsisto, together with the BSBCC team and a group of international volunteers.

Madam Sylvia Alsisto (right) welcoming HE Simon Featherstone and his family to Sepilok

Introducing the volunteers working at SOURC and BSBCC

Meet the BSBCC team

Their visit to the BSBCC was led by our Project Manager, Wai Pak and also assisted by other BSBCC staff. Everyone had a close view of the sun bears foraging and socializing in the forest enclosure. The staff described about the urgent needs of sun bear conservation and talked about the unfortunate background of each of the sun bears they saw in the enclosure.

BSBCC Project Manager, Wai Pak introducing the sun bears at the observation platform

After the visit to the BSBCC, the VIP visitors proceeded their visit at the SOURC which they were welcomed by a group of orang utan hanging on bamboo stems at the SOURC entrance. This is followed by a tea session with the staff. The visit ended with a presentation of souvenir to the HE Mr. Simon Featherstone. Warm wishes from the BSBCC staff! We hope you enjoyed your visit at our centre!

HE Simon Featherstone and his wife enjoying the view of orang utans hanging around at the SOURC entrance

Presenting souvenir to HE Simon Featherstone and his wife.