Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

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Meet the smallest bears on earth at one and only Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre {BSBCC}. Watch the adorable Bornean Sun Bears climbing trees, grubbing ground in search of food and minding their own business. These black furred, Paddington-sized bears have golden horseshoe like marks on their chest which resemble rising sun. Each of the marking are unique, just like human fingerprints. The Bornean Sun Bear can only be found in Borneo. Therefore, plan your holidays and take the opportunity to see the endangered creature when you visit Sabah in Borneo.

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is located strategically beside the world renowned Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, which is around half an hour drive from Sandakan town. Both of the centre situated amidst the Sepilok-Kabili Forest Reserve. All rescued sun bears roaming freely within the forest enclosure. And if you are lucky, you might spot orang utans relaxing on top of the trees too.

The Bornean SunBear Conservation Centre is the only sun bear conservation centre in the world. It was established in 2008 as a collaborative between sun bear researcher Wong Siew Te, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department and LEAP [Land, Empowerment, Animals and People]. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre aims to educate and create awareness of Bornean sun bear conservation both in Malaysia and internationally, through ongoing research in protecting the sun bear’s natural habitat, while creating the capacity to care, rehabilitate and release suitable orphan and ex-captive bears back into the wild. It also provide an improved long term living environment for confiscate sun bears that cannot be released. The sun bears will be reintroduce to their natural habitat by stages. The rehabilitators and researchers work with the sun bears to develop the necessary survival skills, so it can be independent once they are back in the forest. Each sun bears will be monitored closely, before it can be identified for the potential release.

The Bornean sun bear is the second most endangered bear species after the giant panda, as categorised on the IUCN red list. It is also one of the least studied bear. And due to the effort of Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, will these bears survive. Sun bears does not hibernate like other bears. They are the species that build nests in trees to sleep. This means the deforestation is a great threat to sun bears and it has drastically reduced the population of the species. They were also hunted not only for its meat, but also for medicinal purposes especially their gall bladders.

Perhaps, a visit to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre can be one of a great way for you to support the conservation project. The centre open daily including public holidays from 9 am till 3:30 pm. Here, you get to watch the sun bears foraging, climbing and sunning themselves around the forest from two elevated walkways and viewing platforms. There are also telescopes set up for a closer look, educational documentary on BSBCC, gift shop and the centre is totally accessible for people with disabilities.

Another great way to help is to adopt a sun bear as part of your family. The fund will be used towards the food, medical and rehabilitation for your chosen sun bear. Upon adoption, you will receive a sun bear gift, a certificate, a beautiful photograph of your bear, a button badge as well as an email updates on your bear.

However, if you are planning to stay a bit longer in Sepilok, you are welcome to spend your time volunteering at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Be apart of the conservation team while exploring the wonders of the Borneo wildlife. You will get the opportunity to work with dedicated biologist and researchers observing the sun bear’s behaviour and diet, as well as learning how wildlife conservation are being carried out on site and so much more. There are a few nearby forest resorts that you can stay. One of it is the Sepilok Nature Resort, which is just a walking distance away to BSBCC. It is definitely a great volunteering programme for anyone who is interested to learn more about wildlife conservation or just want to do something meaningful while travelling