Malaysia: Orphaned sun bear cub rescued from Sabah forest reserve

AWANG ALI OMAR New Straits Times 23 Mar 16;

SANDAKAN: A young female sun bear was rescued from a forest reserve in Pinangah, Telupid here.

The bear, found weak and almost lifeless, is now recuperating well at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok here.

Named “Wawa” by the Sabah Wildlife Department officer who drove her to the centre last Friday, the cub is currently under quarantine and is said to be improving in terms of her health.

BSBCC Chief Executive Officer Wong Siew Te said the cub was found on March 11 by workers conducting forest monitoring.

They subsequently took the cub to an office operated under the Forest Management Unit (FMU) 16 before it was surrendered to the department that later sent the bear to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park near Kota Kinabalu the following day.

“Based on details given to us, Wawa appeared to be weak when she was found. Those who brought her to safety decided it would be best to only give her some water to drink.

“After several days, she arrived at BSBCC and although she was exhausted from the six hour drive, she was feisty enough to bark at our staff. “Wawa is still weak and dehydrated but she is adapting well.

We have been giving her constant care and we hope that she will become stronger in the days to come,” Wong said.

He added that it was very unlikely for a sun bear to abandon her cub and that it was not known what had happened to Wawa’s mother.

“BSBCC is taking up the challenge to raise this bear and to teach her all that she needs to know before she returns to her natural habitat as an adult,” he said adding that this was the 48th rescued sun bear to have arrived at the centre.

He reiterated that it is an offence under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 to hunt or to keep sun bears.

Ray of sunshine for sun bear
STEPHANIE LEE The Star 24 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: A two-month old sun bear that was found almost lifeless at a forest reserve in Pinangah Telupid is recovering well.

The sun bear, which was found by plantation workers some 210km from here on March 11, has been named Wawa by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) officer who sent her to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sandakan.

BSBCC chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the cub was still under quarantine and its health was improving.

“Based on details given to us, Wawa appeared to be weak when she was found and those who brought her to safety decided it would be best to only give her water to drink,” Wong added.

“BSBCC is taking up the challenge to raise this bear and to teach her all that she needs to know before she returns to her natural habitat as an adult.

“Wawa is the 48th rescued sun bear to have arrived at our centre,” he added.

He said that it was an offence under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment to hunt or keep sun bears.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said while he was glad that Wawa had made it safely to BSBCC, the fact that she was found alone was worrying.

He said orphans were rescued and sent to BSBCC from time to time, indicating that their mothers might have been killed for its parts by those linked to illegal animal parts trade.

“There is no medicinal value in consuming sun bear parts,” he said, adding that those who continued to poach sun bears and other protected wildlife species would face legal action.

“Offenders may face a penalty of up to five years’ jail or a maximum of RM50,000 fine, or both,” he added.

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