On Saturday we got up, got all suited and booted in our gear and had our induction at the centre. It was great to meet all the staff, everyone here is so friendly and welcoming to us.
After our induction we all had a lovely lunch together and headed back to the centre. Next door to the Orangutan Centre where I’m staying is a Sunbear Conservation Centre so we were taken there to have a look around.
The sanctuary was amazing, there were big walk ways up in the canopy and lots of info around telling us about the bears. We were lucky enough to be shown around by a lovely lady called Gloria who told us so much about them, it was so interesting to find out about them. We then went outside to see the bears, it was great to see them, they are alot smaller than you think and have such distinct markings.
There were 40 bears at the sanctuary and they have all been rescued. Most have come from the illegal pet trade, some are from restauraunts as people eat them, they also cut off their paws and use parts of their body in chinese medicine. One had been kept in a tiny cage for 17 years. To hear the stories of these bears was heartbreaking but to see them in their natural habitat was amazing. Sadly the centre, like most of the places around here don’t have the funding so rely heavily on devoted members of staff to keep the place up and running.
It really was a great day and nice to see a new animal that I’ve never seen before. The staff at the centre were so welcoming to us and have said that we are welcome back anytime, to talk about how to help the bears or possibly volunteer if we have any extra time after our project. To learn more about the centre, to donate or adopt a bear you can visit http://www.bsbcc.org.my/