Sun Bears At Samboja - An Update!

Sun Bears At Samboja - An Update!

Posted by Connor Whelan on 18th Apr 2016

Whilst it is the orangutans who grab all of the headlines at Samboja, the sanctuary is also home to a collection of sun bears who would not have survived in the wild without help. It has been all change for these adorable bears over the last month or so, and our project facilitator Kate has provided us with an update on the goings on at the sanctuary!

Sunbear

Thanks to the staff, volunteers, and predominantly the charity Sun Bear Outreach, 5 new and spacious cages have been built for the bears to live in. Patrick Rouxel runs the charity and has overseen the project so far, and with his help the new cages have been designed with much better access so that things can easily be fixed or changed as and when they need to be. Each cage has a hammock and a water bowl in for the bears to play with, and if you have visited Samboja before you will know how much the bears love water! The volunteers have been helping to prepare these new cages by weaving and fixing hammocks, coming up with novel enrichment ideas for the bears, and helping with general maintenance. Without the volunteers help this job would have been almost impossible to get finished!

Volunteers in Borneo

There have also been improvements made to some of the existing areas that the bears live in. Some had been out of use for a while as the roofing had collapsed, but after a strong team effort this has been fixed and some of the bears now have much larger living areas.

Sunbear volunteers

Now that the cages are finished there is another big task that needs to be completed. The work never ends at Samboja! In the near future the plan is to finish creating a 4 hectare forest enclosure which will give the often inquisitive sunbears (who have been known to escape from other enclosures!) the chance to live in a secured forest habitat. The project was started five years ago but had to be halted due to lack of funding, and over the next few months charity boss Patrick will be returning to Europe in an attempt to raise funds to complete this mammoth task. The most time consuming and expensive element of this new project is the electric fence which is going to need to be built to keep the clever sunbears safely in their own enclosure! However, until funds are secured for the fence, volunteers will be helping to clear some of the area where the fence will be constructed. It’s a big job but once it is completed the bears will have a new home in which they can climb trees and search for termites, exactly as they would do in the wild!

As you can see there is a lot going on in the world of the sunbears, and if you want to head over to Borneo and help aid in their conservation then you can do so as the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project is on special offer until the end of the month. Take a look here and plan your next trip!


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