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The pioneers of Sun Bear Conservation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

Wildlife Conservation projects
1. The pioneers of Sun Bear Conservation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
2. Night spotting to study nocturnal animals of South East Asia
3. Wild Gibbon Rescue and Rehabilitation in peninsular Malaysia

The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is the world’s only sanctuary dedicated exclusively to the rescue and rehabilitation of Sun Bears. It was founded in 2008 by the foremost Sun Bear expert Dr. Wong Siew Te. He wanted to highlight the plight of these animals and provide care and rehabilitation for rescued Sun Bears. These little-known bears ( Helarctus Malayanus) were once widespread throughout Asia. Sadly, today their numbers have dwindled due to deforestation, commercial hunting and the pet trade.

Sun Bear Conservation work by scientists and volunteers

From the beginning of the centre, with one rescued bear cub called ‘ Si Kecil’, there are now 43 bears homed at BSBCC. Interestingly, the conservation work at the centre is carried out by volunteers working alongside biologists and researchers. Their activities include animal husbandry to maintain health and the cleanliness of the centre. Furthermore, the centre provides a lot of enrichment to stimulate the bears and improve their living conditions. There is also a regular need to help with the construction of new exhibits and extensions, as the facilities are still expanding. Finally, there is an educational programme to teach volunteers, visitors and local schools about the Sun Bears and their conservation.

Awesome release into the wild!

These rescued bears have often lived in appalling conditions in captivity. So, they need to be introduced gradually into their natural habitat. It is a long process to teach them the necessary skills for survival in the wild. The potential release candidates are carefully selected and coached. The video shows the preparation and care that go into one of these amazing releases of a rehabilitated sun bear into the wild.


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In her non-profit company Biodiversity Business, Barbara combines her lifelong experience in marketing communications with her passion for animals. Her mission is #Communication4Conservation: saving endangered species and their habitats.

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