Conservation and life in Borneo

Some days are harder than others

This week I have been collecting enrichment (to fill-in for Action Annie) and have started a leech collection.

I also did an afternoon of fun and games for the kids of the Sepilok staff, which left me sweating more than a 10 mile run.

However, by far the most difficult task this week has been working on the bear’s personal profiles, or “bearographies” as I like to call them. This work involves finding out the life history of each bear. I don’t need to spell it out… the illegal pet trade’s treatment of wildlife is dispicable. Heartbreak, rage, I’ve had plenty of emotions this week.

My research into the stories behinf the bears has also madev me more aware of the nature and sheer scale of the challenge faced by the BSBCC in developing awareness for these animals and their habitat.

One case worthy of mention which demonstrates the levels of ignorance in Malaysia is that of Panda and Kudat, who were “surrendered” in August of this year. Their given names tell the story; they were on display as “pandas” at a mini-zoo in Kudat.

In the case of the 2 bears above, they were not abused, but still suffered as the victims of ignorance; being fed an inappropriate diet with no enrichment. Incredibly, the Victory Mini Zoo from where they were “surrendered” had to “surrender” another bear, Rungus, only a week later. If you ever go to the Tip of Borneo, and feel like spending some time at the Victory Mini Zoo Farm (at Kg. Parapat, Mile 16, Kudat), let me know if you see any sunbears of anything else in need of “surrender.”

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