Working in Animal Care as a Bear Rehab Volunteer in Borneo is unforgettable!
As a Bear Rehab Volunteer in Borneo, you will work at the world’s only sanctuary dedicated exclusively to the rescue and rehabilitation of Sun Bears: The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). Absolutely, you will play a crucial role in caring for these wonderful animals.
Since 2008, the Sun Bear Centre has been easing the plight of these animals and care for and rehabilitate rescued Sun Bears. Once widespread throughout Asia, these bears (Helarctus Malayanus) have dwindled in numbers due to deforestation, the pet trade and commercial hunting.
Helping bears to go back to the wild
First, the team rescued a bear cub called ‘Si Kecil’. By now, the centre is home to about 36 bears. Often they have lived in appalling conditions in captivity, and must be gradually introduced into their natural habitat. You will learn, as a Bear Rehab Volunteer in Borneo, that teaching the bears the necessary skills to survive in the wild is a long process. So, they must be carefully coached and selected before release.
Learn animal husbandry and enrichment as a Bear Rehab Volunteer in Borneo
Importantly, you will work alongside researchers and biologists to undertake vital conservation work. Activities include animal husbandry to maintain the centre’s health and cleanliness. Plus, get involved in enrichment to stimulate the bears and improve their living conditions. You may also help with constructing new extensions and exhibits.
Tell others about Sun Bear Rehabilitation
Finally, try your hand at teaching volunteers, local schools and visitors about Sun Bears and their conservation.
“Watching the bears eating and enjoying their food made our heart melt.” Michael & Jana
The centre has an education centre and library. Volunteers will have the chance to learn a lot about the sun bears and share this with the local school children, by designing and implementing an education session for them. You may also be asked to talk about the bears to visitors of the centre, or prepare displays and information on them.
Successes to date…
Releases: One of the centre’s very first sun bears ever to be reintroduced into the wild was Si Kecil. Her story is sad but typical; her mother was killed by poachers and she was kept as a pet. In 2018, two adult bears were released to a reserve on for reintroduction back to the wild.
Providing a safe home: The centre hopes to release more bears into the wild in the future, however for rescued bears that cannot be released (often because they would be unable to survive, due to physical damage caused by their previous owner) the centre provides an improved long term living environment for them. At the end of 2018, the centre had housed a total of 45 bears. With access to outdoor enclosures, these bears can step onto soil ground, climb, dig for grubs, forage and rest in the trees for the very first time.
Animal care: The centre rehabilitates rescued bears after many years of trauma from being locked up in small cages as illegal pets. The team has received training in using healing and relaxing techniques to help the bears recover from the physical and psychological trauma they endured.
Maintaining health: In 2018, 3 new sun bears were sent to the centre. They had health problems and stunted growth caused by improper diet and being raised in small cages, however, they are now in good health.
In 2018, the centre achieved the following: