Conservation and life in Borneo

Working for the bears

The last few days were a little busier then usual due to the preparations for the visit of some very important guests. Besides this, I have been busy with enrichment for the bears. This has ranged from gathering wild figs for them to eat to building a climbing structure for Natalie, cut from a tree I found in the forest which had fallen in a recent storm.

When I first let Natalie try the tree I was very aprehensive; I certainly didn’t want her to fall and hurt herself. However, my fears were unfounded as she (with me arms stretched ready to catch her) climbed straight to the end of her climbing tree.
She later came back down a metre or so to sniff, scratch and chew at a knot in the wood which she found particularly interesting.

I stayed with her for half an hour or so to monitor as she neslted herslf in a fork near the highest point. Satisfied she was content I went about my other duties, checking back on her regularly. She spent hours in her new “tree house” and did not seem to want to come down. Perhaps it is instinctive for young bear cubs to feel more secure when they are off the ground?

This afternoon I gave her a little present; some banana squished into the knot she likes to chew at. I hope she likes it.

Below is a video taken as I cycled in to work. Thanks to Wai Pak for the use of his mountain bike!

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