Tag Archives: construction

New playground at BSBCC future enclosure!

Text by Gloria Ganang and photo by Tee Thye Lim

The BSBCC is on its way to construct its second bear house that will be able to occupy 16 bears. This new bear house will be surrounded by a 1.21 ha forest enclosure. However, some parts of the forest enclosure are swampy and have no trees for the bears to climb. How do we make use of the space? With the help of ideas from Arkitrek and hard work by the Raleigh International volunteers, our future enclosure is now equipped with a playground for the bears.

Check out these pictures!

Hanging bridge made out of reclaimed wood materials and fire hose

Making use of old tyres to walk on muddy ground

Now everyone can climb!

Perfect spot for sunbathing!

The Raleigh volunteer group who finalized the structures. You guys are awesome!

AMAZING!

The Raleigh International volunteers came from all over the world and gathered at this tropical island of Borneo to work on projects as this one. They worked with heavy tools and materials, tolerated with unpredictable weather, had countless leach bites under their socks and went back to their camp site muddy and tired everyday. However, they have done it for a good cause, which is to provided the bears with additional activities  in the enclosure. These structures can be utilized in many ways to enrich the bears. We are sure that any bear would instantly check out the structures as soon as they find it. Perhaps the roaming orang utan and macaques will do as well..or any of the BSBCC staff!

Million thanks from the BSBCC team to the volunteers! We hope you enjoyed working with us!

We would also like to thank Ian Hall, founder of Arkitrek who made this project possible. Not forgetting Arkitrek intern, Adam Brown for your dedication to guide the volunteers all the way until the end of this project.

Bear hugs to everybody!

We are looking forward to see you here soon!

Text and photo by Tee Thye Lim

We would like to express our millions of appreciation and special credits to the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia through the Sabah Wildlife Department, for providing us the funds to expand the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).

Now, we are pleased to announce the completion of our observation platform, elevated board walk that link the car park to the observation platform, and the access road to the bear house.

This construction project started on the 9th Sept 2011, and it is now completed!
Click here to read about <We are getting there!>

The schematic diagram of BSBCC observation platform

The “Organic Bridge” which was built by Raleigh volunteers using reused iron wood that links up the elevated board walk and walking path to briefing area

The ground path which links visitors from “Organic Bridge” to the briefing area. You will find the sun bear’s chest mark pattern design along the walkway!

The staircase which links the briefing area to the “Organic Bridge”.

 

The access road to the new bear house!

The boardwalk to BSBCC observation platform is now completed!

Yes, we are almost reaching the new BSBCC observation platform.

Here we are! The BSBCC new observation platform!

From here, you will have the chance to observe the world's smallest bear species in their natural behavior and habitat.

Our new platform can hold a maximum capacity up to 40 visitors.

 

The BSBCC is expecting to be opened for the public by next year (2013), and we are looking forward to seeing you here soon!

And now our remaining task is to raise sufficient funds for the construction of:

  1. The second bear house
  2. Visitor briefing area
  3. Renovation of office area
  4. Bear holding area

The completion of these components is crucial for the success for BSBCC to achieve our missions which is to conserve sun bears through a combination of education, rehabilitation, research, and improve the welfare of captive orphaned sun bears!

 

The construction of the observation platform finally started!

 After the completion of the first bear house and the forest enclosures one and a half year ago, Bornean Conservation Centre has been quiet down from major construction. The quietness is gone now as another phase of construction started few weeks ago. Thanks to the fund raising efforts from Sabah Wildlife Department, The Ministry of Tourism Malaysia has kindly provided us with funding to build the observation platform, the elevated board walk that link the car park to the observation platform, and to upgrade the access road to the bear house. The construction for this project will take six months and scheduled to be completed on March 2012. After completion of these constructions, we will start to prepare the education materials and displays, and get ready to welcome our first visitor on July next year.

 With the funding secured and the construction for the observation platform and the board walk in place, our remaining tusk is to raise sufficient funds to construct the second bear house, visitor briefing area, and renovation of the office area and the bear holding area. The completion of these components is crucial for the success for BSBCC to conserve sun bear through a combination of education, rehabilitation, research, and improve the welfare of captive orphaned sun bears.  

 Please help us spread the words and spread the loves to the sun bears. Please do what you do best to help us. We have come this far in our mission to conserve sun bear in many ways because of your supports and helps. And yes, we still need your help!

 

The schematic diagram of the observation platform at BSBCC. Visitors can view the sun bears in their natural surrounding from this platform. This is the location where "everyone can see sun bears in the forest" take place!

The schematic diagram of the observation platform at BSBCC. Visitors can view the sun bears in their natural surrounding from this platform. This is the location where "everyone can see sun bears in the forest" take place!

 

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Translation on this notice board erected at the junction of Sepilok:
Project: Construction Project for Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Sipilok, Sabah
Owner/Client: Sabah Wildlife Department (Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment)
Pay by: Ministry of Tourism Malaysia
Architect: Summaz Architect
Engineer: Perunding Menara Co. Ltd.
QS: Consultant LCF
Contractor: Dayana Enterprise
Date Construction Start: 09-09-2011 Date construction end: 09-03-2012

 

The current construction involves the building of the Observation Platform, Visitor access walkway from car park, and road to the bear house (yellow). We still need funding to build the Bear House 2 and Forest Enclosure 2, Visitor briefing area, and Bear Holding Area.

The current construction involves the building of the Observation Platform, Visitor access walkway from car park, and road to the bear house (yellow). We still need funding to build the Bear House 2 and Forest Enclosure 2, Visitor briefing area, and Bear Holding Area.

BSBCC Phase II tendering

http://arkitrek.com/http:/arkitrek.com/bsbcc-phase-ii-tendering/

By Ian Hall

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22 contractors attended a site visit to BSBCC on 3rd June to decide whether to tender for phase II works. Phase I was completed in March 2010 giving us a new bear house and 1ha of electric fenced forest enclosure with capacity for 20 bears. The second phase due to start in September 2011 will give us an observation platform and allow the centre to open to the public in March 2012.

Contractors were briefed in the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC). In the foreground is BSBCC Manager Ng Wai Pak.

Contractors were briefed in the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC). In the foreground is BSBCC Manager Ng Wai Pak.

The briefing was given by Thomas Chong of Arkitek Summaz. Arkitek Summaz is the architect of record and are responsbile for securing Building Plan approval from Sandakan Town Council for the BSBCC development.

The briefing was given by Thomas Chong of Arkitek Summaz. Arkitek Summaz is the architect of record and are responsbile for securing Building Plan approval from Sandakan Town Council for the BSBCC development.

After the air-conditioned comfort of the SOURC we dragged the contractors into the forest to see the project site.

After the air-conditioned comfort of the SOURC we dragged the contractors into the forest to see the project site.

“how to carry materials in, ah?” they complained.
“can build road, ah?” they pleaded.
“cannot, oh!” they were told firmly by Puan Jum Rafiah, the Sabah Wildlife Dept. officer in charge of the BSBCC construction
“angkat tangan, lah” (carry by hand) we suggested helfpully.
The grumbling continued, while some were quite and one lauded our decision to use a steel structure. Easier to carry steel than concrete he observed. A bear made an appearance on cue and we ajourned to the sepilok cafeteria for teh tarik.

Subsequently a healthy number of contractors tendered and the tender report is due in two weeks’ time. We’ll annouce the winner at the end of July.

Volunteer’s Diary: Sandakan, Borneo: Day 8

Sandakan, Borneo: Day 8

http://12miles-out.tumblr.com/post/619760773/sandakan-borneo-day-8

By SayLin Ong

Amanda’s arrived in Sandakan tonight. Shared with us some of her Mongolian experiences. Looking forward to the next few weeks working together, we’ll be helping Amanda settle down and assisting in her understanding of volunteering responsibilities here. It shouldn’t be much trouble at all given her good level of understanding animals as well as husbandry experience. The four of us will do great working and traveling together.

My cousin was near Sepilok this afternoon and took us out for an impromptu lunch. We took a quick visit to the nearby Crocodile Farm at Mile 8(distance from the town centre). It was more like a private zoo, a very dismal one at that. Its sad to hear from Wai Pak that there are places worst of than that. I shan’t go into the details of animal welfare there. This isn’t a form of avoidance, but I feel we should not be overly emotional at the same time. If we were to get disheartened and deeply affected by every setback witnessed, its going to hinder our full potential to make a difference. We accept that some things will not see an immediate improvement, learn from them, and continue doing the best we can to make a difference. Hopefully one day, some good will come to the animals I saw today.

It all boils down to education, and in order to make a real impact, it must not be on a micro scale. Little by little, the whole system of education has to change in order to produce people with more mature mindsets. Even in Singapore, people continue to watch dolphin shows and I’m certain a Whale Shark would attract just as many people. Maturity has to come at a societal level, maturity as a culture. Yes, our youths are a good place to start, but I have faith that adults are capable of changing their mindsets as well.

Its easier said than done, but not impossible.

a well thought through design.

 

The design of the BSBCC facility is worth mentioning. With a tight budget and an urgent need to relocate the Sun Bears to a better enclosure, Wong and co has managed to design a facility that is although humble, yet very effective and environmentally friendly.

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Alternating translucent roof panels, letting in natural sunlight. I have a feeling the panels not just let light in, but in a way disperses the light. The facility is practically bright all the time in the day, even when the weather gets a bit dreary. Not sure how it’ll be when the rainy season comes though. This not only saves electricity but is arguably a healthier design. We should all be familiar how the weather affects our mood. Having a naturally bright environment would definitely reduce stress for the animals, an important advantage for captive animals. The well-ventilated area also prevents the facility from getting too warm.

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Water tanks to collect rainwater. In our tropical climate, this is a great way to harness what the tropical storms have to offer.

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While this system is not put to service yet, it is meant for waste treatment in the future. When the system is in place, it is supposed to treat waste and harness the methane gas by-product. Methane can then be transferred back to the facility to be used at the gas stove, fueling the cooking process for the tasty porridge the bears love!

Its great to know that while the sun bears have a good environment to live in while they prepare to be released into the wild, they are not increasing their carbon footprint. Ultimately, such benefits will cycle back and mean well for the lives of the Bornean Sun Bears.

Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:04pm

Sun Bear Video blog Part 3

Here is a new sun bear video blog by Audrey and Howard
http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/2010/01/31/it-all-started-with-an-email%e2%80%a6/
http://wildhoopproductions.blogspot.com/

papa bear part 3
Soon the rescued sun bears will be in their new home. Next step – save the wild sun bears from extinction. Siew Te Wong and Dr. Audrey Low discuss the upcoming relocation. Exciting times. The culmination of years of work for Wong and so many others. Hope!

BSBCC Phase I nearly complete

Photo and Text by Ian Hall  http://arkitrek.com/http:/arkitrek.com/bsbcc-phase-i-nearly-complete/

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The new bear house at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre Should have been completed this month however we have been delayed by bad weather.

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Our site being low lying and barely above the water table has degenerated into bottomless gloop. Luckily most of the building was up before the rainy season but materials deliveries and availability of dry working space has suffered. Under the conditions the contractor has done us proud and the quality of workmanship in the most important components, the cages, is excellent.

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We’re now putting the final touches to an array of slide bars, pulleys, clamps, locks and counterweights that will make operation of the building safe for both bears and keepers.

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One final hurdle remains after that, to connect the forest enclosure electric fencing to the building so that the bears’ release into a natural environment can be controlled. There has been much chin scratching on the part of all partners; Wildlife, Forestry and BSBCC on this one. Wildlife Dept are concerned about orang-utans getting into the bear enclosure and Forestry Dept are concerned about how they are going to prune trees to prevent arboreal bears from escaping the enclosure!

It was never going to be an easy task ensuring that captive bears have controlled access to primary rainforest however this is the feature that will set this sanctuary / conservation centre apart from any other.

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A bird view of the kitchen area of the new bear house.

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Eletric fence traning area. It is here we will train the bear not to come close to the fence with hot (eletric) wire, or, they will get zapp!

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The contractor giving a briefing during the site inspection last week by LEAP, Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah Forestry Department.

New year, new hope for sun bear!

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The year of 2009 was sure a quick year to pass. Without much notice, we entered a new decade. For me, 2010 is a year of anticipation and a year of bearing fruits after many years of hard works. It will be this year that the mission impossible become possible.

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Back in 2004, I conducted a nationwide survey of sun bear status in Malaysia and visited many zoos, private menageries, mini zoos, crocodile farms, etc., including Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) in Sandakan, to better understand the situation of the captive sun bears in Malaysia. It is here at SORC that the Sabah Wildlife Department housed all of the confiscated sun bears in separate cells. These cells are “cell”, cages with nothing in it. Like all of the captive sun bears which I called “caged sun bears”, they looked sad, stress and nervous. The only activity that these bears did all day was pacing. Regardless of the sizes of the cages, they paced from one end of the cage to the other end of the cage. For those even more unfortunate bears with tiny cages to a point where pacing is not possible, they jiggled their head in circle, sometime so fast that I cannot keep track of the movement.

It may not mean anything to an ordinary local folk who treated an animal as an animal. But to me, I can tell from years of loving and care for animals that these bears were suffering, in severe stress and pain under this kind of unacceptable living environment. If this were to happen to a human, he or she would have physiological breakdown or turn crazy in days. However, because they are bears, one of very tough animal in the Kingdom Animalia (Animal), they will stay alive until they die of old age in this kind of living condition for years, as long as they are being fed with any kind of food. I mean, “any kind,” as long as it is food!

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It was here I first met Ann, a SORC’s volunteer from UK probably at her 60s. Her face full of wrinkles but she has a strong heart full of love for animals, especially the orangutans. She grasped my hand with her strong arm when I first told her who I was (co-chair of the newly formed Sin Bear Expert Team, under the IUCN Bear Specialist Group), “YOU MUST HELP THESE BEARS! YOU MUST!!” she said with shaking voice. “I WILL help these bears, Ann. I will help you all bears” I reassured her and the bears again and again before I left.

It was not easy for me to found the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). It took six years for us to come this far to what it is today.  By March this year, the Phase one of the constructions will be completed and the 12 sun bears under our care now will be move to the new bear house with forest enclosure. We can rescue more cage bears that live in horrible condition because after March this year we will have the facility to house them and taking care of them, all. To all of them, this will be the first time that they step on earth, sniff the forest, and dig the soil, since they were captured by poachers as a baby bear many years ago. By March this year, I can look into Ann’s eyes and say, “I have helped them, Ann.” “I have kept my promise to help you, bears!”

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This year is an important year for sun bear not only our first new bear house will be completed and all the hard work that we have been doing for the past two years can finally paid off. It is also the year that sun bear gain more attention and helps for the first time around the world. Ursa Freedon Project, a new NGO founded last year with the aim to help all the eight species of bears, will put their effort this year to help sun bear and BSBCC. There are 3 sun bear studies in the wild stated last year with additional three or more will join the team of sun bear researchers this year in different parts of Southeast Asia. I will soon complete my doctorate degree and return to Malaysia to serve the rest of my life and career for the sun bears and BSBCC. All of these activities will make sun bears receive the attentions and supports that never happens before in the past. This year is not just the year of the tiger, but is also the year for the sun bear as well.

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I have high hope that many can be achieve this year with a lot of helps from across the world. The next challenge for BSBCC is to raise additional UD$400,000 in order to complete the Phase 2 and 3. It is only when we completed the Phase 2 of the construction (the visitor gallery and viewing facility), we could then open our facility to the public and visitor who wish to learn more about sun bear and see our sun bear in natural enclosures. We can also generate revenue from the visitors to pay for our expenses and our education, conservation and research programs. In other word, we will be self sustained after the completion of Phase 2.

I sincerely thank all of you over and over again for your immense helps over the past many years in many ways to help us grow and help sun bears. It is your helps, contribution, and supports that make us come this far. However, we still need your help to bring a better future for sun bears and all of the wildlife and nature that we care and love so much. Please help us spread the words of our work and the plight of the sun bear during your free time. You can easily tell your friends about it, post our news in your facebook and other social networking tool online. Even better, help us raise fund, contribute your time working with us, study sun bears, and many other things that you do best.

I can do all the works to study the sun bears in the rainforest of Borneo and live there for 6 years; I can do all the works of founding BSBCC; I can do all the emailing and bloging to send the message out to you in every corner of the world as long as there are internet connection. However, I simply cannot do a lot more that needed to be done without your help for saving all of the sun bears and protecting their habitat and other wildlife and wild place

The year 2010 is the year of sun bear and we have high hope for more helps is coming during this year. Together we could make a difference and a better world for the bears and for ourselves.    

We are almost there!

Here is a video of photos taken during the last two months. As you can see, WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

The construction of our first bear house is at the last stage and soon will start constructing the fencing of the forest enclosures.

It has been a long wait, I know. It has not been easy, I know. I would like to take this oppurtunity to THANK all of you, yes, you, for being a great supporter and helps in many ways to make us come this long.

Now, I can look into the eyes of our beloved sun bears in our centre, and tell them: hang in there, WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/z03JBifrUzQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Construction in progress!

 

There are so many stories that I had in my mind that I would like to blog about that told the world. However, finding time to do it always become challenging, or by the time I feel like I have a little time to write before bed time, my eyes and my fingers were too tired to work. Is this call aging??

Anyway, one blog posting that I always like to post is about the progress of the building construction of bear house. It has been going on schedule (consider a very good sign as most construction works here in this part of the world are always delay and fall behind schedule).

 These photos were taken from the site on November 30th by Ian Hall. I let these photos speak for themselves. As you can see, we are getting there!

After the Phase 1 construction is done, our big challenge is to raise fund for the Phase 2. Believe me that we are still working hard to raise the fund need for Phase 2 but unfortunately we did not have a lot of success. If you know someone who can help, please help us spread the words.

Seriously, I am praying hard and working hard to find fund for this project. This is my hope, our hope, and the hope for the sun bears as well.

Thank you for all of your support and helps. Together we can make a difference!

 

Photos: Ian Hall 

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