Malaysia: Sun Bear Run nothing to do with conservation efforts, says NGO

RUBEN SARIO The Star 11 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Officials at Sabah’s only sun bear conservation centre are seeing red over the move to use the endangered animal as the theme for a profit run.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive Wong Siew Te (pic) said the organiser's move to use sun bears was wrong.

“We condemn any parties who use the name of endangered species and exploit them for their own benefit.

“Regretfully we learnt that this run is not a charity event where the profits will help the works to conserve sun bears in Sabah,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Wong said the conservation centre had nothing to do with the run that was scheduled to be held here on Feb 28.

He said it was important for the public to be aware that the so-called Sun Bear Run was just theme of the sports event organised by the local company and an event management firm.

“We wish to advise the public to be clear about the nature of similar events so that they do not end up paying to take part thinking that they are helping wildlife,” he said.

The conservation centre located at Sepilok in east coast Sandakan was opened two years ago for the rehabilitation of rescued sun bears, apart from carrying out awareness, conservation and research activities.

BSBCC is the only facility of its kind in the world and is currently caring for 37 rescued bears.

Centre has nothing to do with Sun Bear Run
The Star 12 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Officials at Sabah’s only sun bear conservation centre are seeing red over a company’s move to use the endangered animal as the theme for its event.

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive Wong Siew Te said the company’s move to use the sun bears for the run was wrong.

“We condemn anyone who uses the name of endangered species and exploits them for their own benefit,” he said yesterday.

“Regretfully we learnt that this run is not a charity event where the profits will help in the conservation of the sun bear in Sabah,” he added.

Wong said the conservation centre had nothing to do with the run that was scheduled to be held here on Feb 28.

He said it was important for the public to be aware that the so called “Sun Bear Run” was just a theme for the event organised by a local company and event management firm.

“We wish to advise the public to be clear about the nature of similar events so that they do not end up paying to take part thinking that they are helping wildlife conservation,” he said.

The conservation centre located at Sepilok in east coast Sandakan was opened two years ago for the rehabilitation of rescued sun bears, apart from carrying out awareness and research activities.

The centre is the only facility of its kind in the world and is currently caring for 37 rescued bears.

A check on the www.eventbrite.sg web page showed that the Sun Bear Run was to be held at Tanjung Aru near here.


Sabah Wildlife not connected to wildlife-themed sports events
The Star 13 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Those participating in wildlife-themed sports events such as the Sun Bear Run on Feb 28, should be aware that none of the proceeds from such events go towards environmental conservation purposes.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said many who took part in similar events, like the rhino and elephant runs, were under the impression that part of the fees collected by the organisers would go towards conservation efforts.

“This is not the case at all, and the public should be aware of this,” he said yesterday.

He said the department had nothing to do with these wildlife-themed runs that were being organised by a Kota Kinabalu-based company.

“As far as I am concerned, these are not charity runs and in no way have any funds been channelled to the department,” William added.

While the company concerned was free to use the names of wildlife species for its events, it should not give the impression that the money collected from the participants would go towards conservation,” he said.

On Thursday, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive Wong Siew Te said the group had nothing to do with the Sun Bear Run to be held here at the end of the month.


We didn't endorse Sun Bear Run, says Sabah Wildlife Dept
AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 12 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department does not support a local running event dubbed the Sun Bear Run, scheduled to take place on Feb 28.

Its director William Baya said as far as the department was concerned, the event was not a charity run.

“We are in no way supporting or co-organising these so-called wildlife themed runs organised by a local company here.

“There are also no funds being channelled to the department for conservation purposes from previous similar running events supposedly for elephants and rhinoceros,” he said in a statement.

William said company organising these runs was free to use the names of such wildlife species as long as they did not give a misleading impression to the public.

“It has come to my attention that many of those who registered for these runs had thought that a large portion of the fees is actually being channelled back into conservation, which is not the case."

Yesterday, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the runs neither benefit the centre nor the animal.

BSBCC condemned parties who use the names of wildlife species for their own benefit and advised the public to be wary of events that exploit the names of endangered animals.

Scheduled to be held at Tanjung Aru, the 9km Sun Bear Run tickets are priced between RM51.25 and RM92.25, and are sold online.

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