Tag Archives: Sabah

Sun Bear Centre To Raise Funds, Calls For Public Support

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=959333

 

Sun Bear Centre To Raise Funds, Calls For Public Support

SANDAKAN, June 27 (Bernama) — The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) will hold a fundraising dinner to raise RM500,000 to partially fund the construction of a second bear house before it is opened to the public early next year.Chief executive officer and founder Wong Siew Te said part of the money raised will also be used to construct a one hectare enclosure for the new bear house and to meet operational costs for the year.

The fundraising dinner to be held on July 20 at the Hakka Association Hall here comes almost five years after a similar event in Kota Kinabalu raised RM1.3 million that was partly used for the construction of the first bear house.

Wong said this year’s operational and construction costs run into RM2 million and despite the commitment of generous donors, it needs to meet shortfall in expenses.

“We appeal to Malaysians, especially the Sandakan business community to support this fundraiser. By attending the event, you will be able to better understand the significance of sun bears and the types of threats this species faces.”

The BSBCC which started operation in 2008 with seven rescued sun bears currently provides refuge to 28 sun bears.

“It is the first and the only facility of its kind in the world and the only one that conduct rescue, education, research and rehabilitation. We should be proud that it is located in Malaysia, specifically in Sandakan,” Wong said in a statement to announce the fund raising dinner, here today.

The BSBCC is located next to the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and also close to the increasingly popular Rainforest Discovery Centre.

Habitat loss, poaching for parts used in traditional medicine and the pet trade are among key threats that have led to a 30 per cent decline of the sun bear population in the last three decades.

Sun bears, the smallest of the world’s eight bear species, are found throughout mainland Asia, Sumatra and Borneo.

The exact number of sun bears in the wild is unknown, making it even more pressing to protect the species classified as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List, and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.

Sun bears are also classified as a ‘Totally Protected Species’ under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, providing it the same status as the Orang Utan and Sumatran Rhinoceros.

Prior to the establishement of BSBCC, sun bears were kept illegally as pets while confiscated bears were housed at a government facility.

The BSBCC provides care and the chance for sun bears to learn what it is like to live in the forest by accessing an attached natural forest within an enclosed area.

Wong said an observation platform and boardwalk were completed last year and that it was poised to become an important education and awareness facility, and could also serve as an ecotourism destination.

“However, we need a second bear house and enclosure to accommodate all the sun bears before we can officially open it. We also need to complete the visitor centre and educational exhibits.”

Sime Darby Foundation, the Sabah government, Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, and several foreign organisations and zoos in the United States are among agencies that had contributed towards the development of BSBCC.

The fund raising dinner with the theme “Big Dreams, Little Bears” will include photographic art auction by Jonathan Tan.

Performers lined up include Jaclyn Victor, Gary Chaw @ Cao Ge, Pink Tan and Amir Yussof and friends with Lina Teoh and Vincent Huang as masters of ceremony.

A free documentary screening is scheduled for July 21 at Sabah Hotel for 500 students, teachers and representatives of local associations.

The event is supported by the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry with Sabah Hotel as the main sponsor.

The BSBCC was set up through collaboration of the Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

— BERNAMA

The untold story – Sun Bears and their impacts

http://borneoinsider.com/2013/05/29/the-untold-story-sun-bears-and-their-impacts/

 

May, 29, 2013 – 5:58 pm

The untold story – Sun Bears and their impacts

A Sun Bear digging decayed wood in search of termites and other wood burrowing invertebrates. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

A Sun Bear digging decayed wood in search of termites and other wood burrowing invertebrates. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

By Jaswinder Kler

SANDAKAN: From dispersing fruit seeds to carving out narrow holes on trees, later used by hornbills and squirrels to nest in, the Malayan Sun Bear contributes to a thriving forest.

The smallest of the world’s bears serve as forest doctors, engineers and planters and by foraging for termites and other insects, help mix nutrients in the soil.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the species that lives in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia plays important roles in the ecosystem.

Describing the Sun Bear’s task as a forest doctor, Wong said the species uses its claws to scrape off and destroy termite nests around tree bark, and this in turn saves the host tree from dying due to termite infestation.

“Sun Bears do this to get termites and their larvae, an important food source for these bears. If they do not do this, the termites will eventually kill the host tree by feeding on the wood fiber from the inside.

“Uncontrolled termite populations could lead to the death of many trees,” he said in a statement issued by the BSBCC to create awareness on the Sun Bear which is listed as “Vulnerable” on The IUCN Red List and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.

Threats including habitat loss, poaching and the pet trade have led to a decline by at least 30 per cent of the species in the last three decades. Their actual numbers in the wild are unknown.

Wong Siew Te examining a tree cavity dug by a Sun Bear looking for honey. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

Wong Siew Te examining a tree cavity dug by a Sun Bear looking for honey. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

Wong said Sun Bears are fond of eating honey, creating holes in trees when extracting honey of stingless bees that build nests under tree bark.

“Holes that Sun Bears create are eventually used by hornbills or squirrels to nest in. They build homes for other forest dwellers and this is why we call Sun Bears forest engineers,” he said, adding that in Bahasa Malaysia, the species is known as beruang madu since it likes consuming honey (madu is the Bahasa Malaysia word for honey).

He said as forest planters, Sun Bears spread seeds of large fruits such as durian and jackfruit when travelling in a wide home range of about 14 square kilometers.

“They are among the largest mammals in the tropical rainforest and through their travels, they defecate swallowed seeds, away from the mother tree which increases chances of the seeds’ survival.

“Through their role as nutrient mixers, Sun Bears facilitate soil turn over and regeneration when they forage for termites and other insects,” he said.

Wong said despite the many important functions that Sun Bears serve, their long term survival in the wild depends on the continuous existence of natural forests.

A Sun Bear destroying a termite nest to hunt for termites. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

A Sun Bear destroying a termite nest to hunt for termites. – Photo courtesy of BSBCC.

He stressed that as forest dependent species, Sun Bears cannot survive in oil palm or other agricultural plantations.

“They need large tracts of natural forests in order for them to sustain viable populations where they can search for food, shelter and reproduce. There is so much that Sun Bears are doing for the forest and this is something we all need to understand and appreciate.

“Today, their numbers are going down and more are ending up in captivity,” he said.

The BSBCC located adjacent to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is currently housing 28 rescued bears. Some were illegally kept as pets and others were found trapped following forest clearing.

The BSBCC is hoping to hold a fund raiser on 20th July in Sandakan to meet the ever increasing costs of caring for Sun Bears in captivity and for awareness work.

Awareness activities will be stepped up once the BSBCC is officially opened to the public, tentatively by early next year.

The BSBCC is a non-governmental organisation set up in 2008 through collaboration of the Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

To learn more about Sun Bears, visit www.bsbcc.org.my and Facebook page www.facebook.com/ sunbear.bsbcc.

Second part of Malaysian Journey premieres this weekend

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/355388

Posted on 20 April 2012 – 11:00am
Last updated on 20 April 2012 – 11:06am

Indra

NATIONAL Geographic Channel (NGC), FOX International Channels’ (FIC) flagship channel in the factual genre, has again been selected as a major platform to help Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) promote Malaysia as a top travel destination in Asia. Five years after the first installment of the eco-travel documentary, Malaysian Journey, was broadcast on National Geographic Channel, MTPB signed up for another installment, which will focus on the country’s beautiful rainforests.

Called Malaysian Journey: Rainforest, the new installment will be presented by Hollywood star and martial artist Jason Scott Lee, and will start airing on April 21 on NGC’s global network.

“FOX International Channels’ work with Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has again led to a fantastic program that will appeal to viewers of National Geographic Channel around the world and in Malaysia,” said Basil Chua, Director and Territory Head of Malaysia at FOX International Channels, “Malaysia has captivating natural wonders and this new installment of Malaysian Journey will help entertain and educate audiences across a wide range of audience demographics. We are proud to partner with our PayTV partner, Astro to premiere the documentary exclusively on National Geographic Channel, Astro Channel 553.”

This year’s installment of Malaysian Journey will focus primarily on Malaysia’s famous rainforest regions. Hutan, a one-hour special, will feature the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Taman Negara National Park, Tasik Kenyir Lake, Kuching, Gunung Mulu National Park and the Bornean Sun Bear Conversation Center in Sabah. The programs will be presented and hosted by Hollywood star and martial artist Jason Scott Lee, who also presented the first installment of Malaysian Journey in 2007. In the first installment of the program, Lee documented his hunts with the Semelais of Pahang, Silat sessions from a local master, life with the Rungus tribe in Sabah as well as life with fishermen on the Langkawi archipelago.

“Malaysia’s flora and fauna is mesmerizing,” said Lee. “I’m honored and thankful to National Geographic Channel for selecting me again for this second installment of Malaysian Journey. Viewers around the world will be able to see the beauty that Malaysia has to offer and the hospitality of the people from this country.”

Lee, who is keenly remembered for his lead role in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, is a fervent environmentalist and conservationist. He shunned the lights of Hollywood and now resides on a 25-acre taro farm in Hawaii. There, he lives out his environmental beliefs of responsible farming and eating what he grows.–National Geographic Channel

 

Malaysian Journey with Jason Scott Lee – Rainforests (Episode 2) premieres exclusively on National Geographic Channel (Astro CH 553) on April 21, 2012. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL

 Read more about this program at: http://natgeotv.com/asia/malaysian-journey/about

 The program will be repeated again on

 Thursday 26 April 2012 at 20:00 – National Geographic Channel

 Thursday 3 May 2012 at 14:20 – National Geographic Channel

Read more about the news on Jason visited BSBCC http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/2011/10/05/jason-scott-lee-loves-sun-bears-how-about-you/

Sun Bear Rock! this Saturday 21 April 2012!

Event Announcement
 
This Saturday 21 April 2012 marks a significant date for the Sun Bears in Malaysia. Over 35 musicians including singer songwriters Rafique Rashid who has penned a song specially about the bears, and Amir Yussof, Jerome Kugan as well as upcoming acts like Tashya’s Ink, The Impatient Sisters, Ryota Katayama, bands from International School of Kuala Lumpur come together to perform at Rockin’ 4 the Environment’s Sun Bear Rock! 2012 in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
 
The musicians supporting the cause are instrumental in generating public awareness on the Sun Bears species – one of the smallest and the least known of the eight bear species in the world. Until today, Sun Bears are still being hunted and poached from their natural habitat. So the weeklong festival seeks to raise awareness about the plight of the species as well as the importance of continuous environmental education: read press release.
 
We INVITE YOU to attend the official launch of Rockin’ 4 the Environment: Sun Bear Rocks! this Saturday, 21 April 2012 from 12.00pm-4.00pm.
 
 
 
The programme is as follows:
 
21 April 2012 @ Central Market Main Carpark Stage
(Free)
12:00 Welcome speech by Kenny Peavy of Environmental Education Alliance of Southeast Asia
12:30 Introduction to Sun Bears by Wong Siew Te of Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre in Sepilok, Sabah
12:45 Musicians rock for the Sun Bears!
13:00 The Impatient Sisters
13:30 Rafique Rashid
14:00 Rustic Rose
14:30 Tak Nak
15:00 Ten Thousand Talents
15:30 Shazet beatbox
16:00 Close
 
22 April 2012, 2-5pm, Universiti Invasion! @ Panggung Eksperimen, Universiti Malaya (RM3)
 
25 April 2012, 8.30-11.00pm, Jazz, Blues, Country gig @ Doppel Kafe, Central Market Annexe (RM15)
 
26 April 2012, 8.30-11.00pm, Acoustic open mic gig @ Doppel Kafe, Central Market Annexe (RM5)
 
27 April 2012, 4.00-11.00pm, Bazaar & Finale Concert @ Central Market Main Carpark Stage (Free) / Central Market Annexe Gallery (RM40 by donation)
 
 
 
 
 

Breath taking photos of sun bears at BSBCC

Text By Siew Te Wong

Photos by Chris Bray

By now you should at least know what a sun bear look like. If not, here is a good chance for you to learn and see how they look like, how pretty they are, and how special these little known bear species are.

Chris Bray (http://www.chrisbray.net/) is on assignment to photograph and write about the Bornean’s rarest animals including the sun bears. He visited us yesterday and today, and took the following photos of our rescued sun bears at BSBCC.

Ladies and gentleman, I present you the Bornean sun bears, the forgotten bears!

 

 

The Sun Bear - the 'forgotten bear' - the smallest and least known of the 8 bear species - needs our help! One of 25 rescued sun bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre merrily enjoying a taste of life in the outdoors - Sepilok, Sabah,

 

 

Siew Te Wong (world expert on Sun Bears, who founded this conservation centre), Chris, and Wai Pak - part of the amazing Sun Bear Team - Sabah, Borneo. www.ChrisBray.net

Thanks Chris! Great job on these photos!

Wildlife Heroes close up with Wong

By Siew Te Wong

I am humbled and honored to have been select as one of the 40 Wildlife Heroes across the world who featured in the Book “Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving.”

Thank you the authors of the book, Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken for your kindness to feature me and my work on sun bears in this book.

Thank you all of you who supported and helped me over the years, and keep supporting and helping on our work on sun bears.

Without your support, I would not be what I am today.

Without your help, we would not be achieving what we have achieved today.

Together we can, we have, and we will make a different!

 Thank you all!

 

 

  

 

New Year, New Plans, and New Hopes for BSBCC

Happy belated New Year to all readers, fans and supporters of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. As we officially say goodbye to the year 2010, we are also welcoming the new year of 2011 with new plans, new hopes and new dreams at the same time!

I have kept my promise that I made in 2004 to the caged sun bears by founding the BSBCC with proper facilities and care for the sun bears. At that time, the situation for the captive sun bears in Sabah was very poor and help was needed urgently to improve the desperate condition of these animals. However, this “help”- funding, human resources, government permits, etc., were not easy to come by. I am most grateful to Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department, and LEAP who gave me the full support to conduct this ambitious project. With the help from these three key agencies and organizations, plus the enormous help from so many parties and individuals, the lone crusade to help sun bears grew to become a team of forces to save the sun bear. Together, we made the impossible become possible.

Img00264

Helpless, hopeless, caged sun bears are victims of human greed and needs for more natural resources.

BSBCC achieved its first goal last year by completing the construction of the first bear house and 4 forest enclosures. We moved the existing 12 bears from our old bear house to the new bear house with forest enclosures. All of these bears finally have the chance to walk in the forest, dig the soil, climb the trees, feed on termites, things that sun bears do in the wild. We later rescued an additional 9 bears, filling up our carrying capacity quickly.

 

Suria resting peacefully on tree in her forest enclosure.

Suria resting peacefully on tree in her forest enclosure.

Fortunately, our good works continue to receive recognition and support. Last November, the Malaysia Federal Government decided to fund the construction of Phase 2 and Phase 3 through help from the Sabah Wildlife Department. This great news means that we now have the full funding to complete the construction of the second bear house, additional 4 forest enclosures, visitor facilities (forest broad walk, visitor gallery, & observation platform) and refurbishment of the office and staff room. In short, we WILL set up the centre according to our ambitious plan and we WILL continue our hard work to save and help more sun bears and continue to let the world know about this little bear species that needs help. The preparation for Phases 2 and 3 has been ongoing over the last two months and hopefully the construction itself can begin soon. The plan is to have the construction completed by early 2012 and officially open to the public soon after.

 

Construction building plan for 2011 (blue) and new forest enclosures (green)

Construction building plan for 2011 (blue) and new forest enclosures (green)

 Ob-platform1

Ob-platform2

Schematic diagrams of the observation platform for visitors to view sun bears

Schematic diagrams of the observation platform for visitors to view sun bears

Besides the construction to complete the building phase of BSBCC, several important missions will be underway in 2011. I will report for duty and manage BSBCC on site as my full time job on February 14th. My presence on site will reduce the heavy burden on Wai Pak and let him take a breath. We will begin plans for the reintroduction stage of a few of our rescued bears- surveying potential release sites, recruit field crews, and fund raising (as the reintroduction of sun bears back to the forest is very costly and time consuming). We will also continue to rescue and help more caged sun bears, conduct more studies on sun bears, and continue to educate people about the plight of sun bears locally, nationally and internationally. These tasks may sound ambitious. However, looking at the desperate situation faced by these bears, we have no choice but to lay out an ambitious plan and continue to work very hard to achieve our tasks.

IMG_2173

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support in many ways over the past two years. Many of you have helped us raise funds, spread the word, raise awareness, take care of our bears, volunteering at BSBCC, and in many other ways. Bit by bit, piece by piece, there is no better example to show other than the combination of your help has made this project possible and create a better future for the sun bears.

 I hope all of you can continue to help us in this coming year!

Wong

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

http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/
http://www.leapspiral.org/content/project07.php
http://wongsiewte.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/BSBCC

http://www.causes.com/causes/95651

http://twitter.com/BSBCC_SunBear


“May all beings be happy, joyful, well, & at safety & peace!”

Sun Bear climbing tree at BSBCC

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/xXNx8-u3msY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] 

Sun bear is an arboreal bear. In the wild, they spend a lot of their time on tree harvesting fruits, resting, and sleeping.

This is Suria, one of a female sun bear at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

 In her state-of-the-art forest enclosure, she can climb trees like a wild bear.

Please help Suria and other sun bears.

Please visit http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org to learn more about sun bears and BSBCC.

The sun bear youngsters at BSBCC

By Wai Pak Ng

Dear all BSBCC loyal readers, do you still remember Julaini and Ah Lun? How about Toby? Yes, these are our three youngest bears of the centre! Bear cubs are very active and energetic. Their curiosity always beyond your imagination. In this blog, let me show you some daily pictures of them.

L1

 

l2

l3

l4

l5

l6

l7

l8

l9

l10

l11

l12

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4ClidXM1PCU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

BSBCC 20th rescued Sun Bear – Rungus

By Wai Pak Ng

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre received the 20th rescued sun bear on 12th November 2010.  This bear is a female adult sun bear that was kept in the Victory Mini Zoo Farm, Kudat, Northern Sabah.

 Last month, Ms Reanne Potter and her husband from Australia visited Sabah including this mini zoo . They saw this sun bear and other animals kept in a very inhumane way at the local mini zoo. The couple felt very sorry to the animals and tried to help them. At first, they found Free the Bear from the internet and communicate with them. Eventually, the news was forwarded to us. Without any delay, BSBCC made a report to Sabah Wildlife Department and a rescue operation was carried out by the Wildlife Rescue Unit.

 I would like to express greatest appreciation to Ms Reanne Potter and her husband who carried out their social responsibilities and care to our wildlife. Special thank you to Free the Bear for the networking and cooperation. Also, I would like to say a big thank you to the Sabah Wildlife Department for their swift respond and action.

BSBCC is glad to receive our new sun bear and named this female as Rungus, which is the name of the tribal people who lives in Northern Sabah. As usual, Rungus will be living in our quarantine area for a month before we could move her to our new bear house to start her rehabilitation training.

David and I carried out Rungus from the truck.

David and I carried out Rungus from the truck.

Preparing to release Rungus from the translocation cage into the quarantine enclosure in our old bear house.

Preparing to release Rungus from the translocation cage into the quarantine enclosure in our old bear house.

This is a very typical "alert" posture for a sun bear checking out a new area for potential threats. Of every new comer, they will show various degree of nervous to the new environment.

This is a very typical "alert" posture for a sun bear checking out a new area for potential threats. Of every new comer, they will show various degree of nervous to the new environment.

 

Rungus settled down very fast in the quarantine area. She was patrolling confidently around the enclosure.

Rungus settled down very fast in the quarantine area. She was patrolling confidently around the enclosure.

Minutes later, her natural instinct tells her there were some interesting stuff hind inside the rock pool. Then she managed to get some ants. Good job Rungus!

Minutes later, her natural instinct tells her there were some interesting stuff hind inside the rock pool. Then she managed to get some ants. Good job Rungus!

In the next morning, Rungus continued exploring her new enclosure. She proves that she is still a good climber.

In the next morning, Rungus continued exploring her new enclosure. She proves that she is still a good climber.

Rungus’s full portraits. A healthy and fit adult female.

Rungus’s full portraits. A healthy and fit adult female.

This is Rungus chest mark, just like every sun bears has their own unique patterns.

This is Rungus chest mark, just like every sun bears has their own unique patterns.

Rungus has a tiny split on her tongue.

Rungus has a tiny split on her tongue.

In fact, Rungus is very tame to the keeper. She never bothers to let us take pictures on her in such a close distance.

In fact, Rungus is very tame to the keeper. She never bothers to let us take pictures on her in such a close distance.

She also gets a branch to rest on.

She also gets a branch to rest on.

She gets tired, and found the best place for her to rest.

She gets tired, and found the best place for her to rest.

At last, Rungus has her morning siesta in the sleeping basket.

At last, Rungus has her morning siesta in the sleeping basket.