Indonesia: Another rare sun bear dies at Balikpapan center

N. Abdi The Jakarta Post 3 Jul 17;

A male sun bear named Bennie was found dead at the Balikpapan Environmental and Educational Tourism Area (KWPLH), also known as the Sun Bear Center, in East Kalimantan on Friday.

"Bennie suffered from acute hepatic failure," Balikpapan Environmental Agency [BLH) head Suryanto said.

The death of Bennie has left the KWPLH with only five sun bears. It previously had seven. A female bear named Idot died in 2014 from intestinal bleeding.

Bennie and Idot both died at the age of 20.

The remainders are a female bear named Anna, three male sun bears named Batik, Bedu and Harris and a cub named Pedro.

Balikpapan KWPLH director Nunuk Kasiyanto said the bears lived as they would in the wild in a 1.3-hectare enclosure.

"All the bears came from the Kalimantan Natural Resource Conservation Agency [BKSDA], which seized the bears from citizens," Nunuk said.

When he was taken to the KWPLH, Bennie had no nails or canine teeth as the owner had removed them, he said.

The government has declared sun bears a vulnerable species. They have long been victims of deforestation and illegal hunting. (yon/ary)

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