Rescued sun bear cub adapting bear-y well to wildlife sanctuary life

Three-month-old Tenom now under the care of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).

KOTA KINABALU: Recently, a sun bear cub was rescued from becoming someone’s illegal pet.

The female cub - which was named Tenom by her rescuers- is now being taught to adapt to her sanctuary with the hope that she will be released into the wild once ready to do so.

To help in this process, a company from peninsula Malaysia has decided to make it their corporate social responsibility to adopt Tenom and fund her rehabilitation.

Bryan Loo, chief executive officer and founder of Bask Bear Coffee brand owner Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, said that they felt called to help the bear and contacted the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sandakan, where Tenom is being kept.

He said having worked with BSBCC in the past, they knew the good work this centre does for wildlife and were familiar with what they did.

“Our hope is that Tenom will be able to return home after undergoing rehabilitation at the centre,” he said in a statement recently.

Loo said the company wished to spread awareness and the message that bears are not meant to be hunted or kept as pets.

“We hope to do our part in helping the conservation of our sun bears which are very much a part of our national heritage,” he said.

He said a team from the company would look into initiatives that would get customers involved in Tenom’s rehabilitation and eventual return to the jungle.

BSBCC founder Dr Wong Siew Te in thanking the company for the sponsorship, hoped this contribution would help raise more awareness that Sun Bears are protected animals.

“We hope this adoption will raise awareness that more needs to be done for our bears and would encourage others to join our 'Adopt a Sun Bear' campaign,” he said.

Tenom, weighing 4kg, was bought for RM500 from a village on the Beaufort-Sipitang border on May 29.

After being rescued by wildlife rangers, she was surrendered to the Wildlife Department and transferred to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (LKWP) before arriving at BSBCC on June 10.

"Tenom is playful, curious, and full of energy. We are happy that Tenom did not end up being someone's pet and living in a tiny cage," Dr Wong said.

“We will continue to do our best to create the ideal environment for Tenom to grow as naturally as possible and be returned to the forest one day,” he added.

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