KOTA KINABALU, Aug 7, 2015:
A three-month-old sun bear cub, rescued from being sold in the remote region of Paitan, is now in safe hands at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sepilok, Sandakan.
The female bear, named Tan-Tan, arrived at BSBCC in Sepilok yesterday, making her the 44th rescued sun bear to be placed there since the centre was set up over six years ago.
BSBCC founder and chief executive officer, Wong Siew Te said the bear was purchased by someone who came across a villager trying to sell the cub.
He said the person who bought the cub informed the Sabah Wildlife Department and this led to the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit sending her to the centre.
“Tan-Tan was saved and brought to her new home at BSBCC and we now have 35 bears out of the total 44 we have received over the years.
“The cub is under quarantine and is being given round the clock care by our staff,” he said, in a statement.
Wong thanked veterinarians Dr Laura Benedict and Dr Sandy Ling Choo of the Wildlife Rescue Unit for conducting a health check on Tan-Tan when she arrived at the facility.
Wong also said it was important for the public to understand that buying sun bears creates an incentive for poachers to capture the animal for profit, with some choosing to kill the species for their parts.
“We thank the person who bought the cub and sent her to the department, but we must stress here that the best way to help a sun bear or other wildlife meant for trade is to report the matter to the Sabah Wildlife Department immediately.
“This will allow the law enforcement officer to catch and prosecute those found selling protected animals or their parts.
“We have to avoid buying wildlife. When the buying stops, the killing will stop too.”
Wong added that the cost of caring for sun bears is huge and appeals to the public to support BSBCC by donating to it or by adopting bears like Tan-Tan.