Sunday, December 15

Sun Bear Conservation Centre impresses US Ambassador

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Wong (left) and Kamala (right) briefing the schoolchildren at the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre, yesterday

SANDAKAN: United State Ambassador to Malaysia, Kamala Shirin Lakhdir who visited the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sepilok, here praised the impressive work of rehabilitating the endangered sun bear species.

Kamala was amazed to see the enthusiasm shown by Dr Wong Siew Te, the founder of BSBCC along with his team in setting up this kind of rehabilitation for protection and conservation of the Malayan sun bear.

“I’ve been here in Malaysia for approximately two months. I came to see the amazing work of Sabah Wildlife, Sabah Forestry and the impressive work of Dr Wong to rehabilitate the sun bear and educate people that sun bears are not pets.

“As we saw, the sun bear cub needs to be feed every three hours. Their commitment in nurturing the cubs to keep them alive is impressive.

“However, I was informed that sun bears are killed for their claws and gall bladder, and such event is devastating for the people of Sabah and certainly will affect the biodiversity and the forest here,” she said to reporters after visiting the BSBCC, yesterday.

Kamala said the US embassy particularly the American people are happy to help and support the conservation effort, educational program and protection works carried out by the Sabah people.

“It is important to educate the people of Sabah especially the younger generation on the importance of conservation and wildlife.

“Therefore, it is really inspiring to see the passion of the people here who go beyond the ordinary job by putting conservation as their passion. It is wonderful to see the commitment of these people and their hope to achieve results that will benefit Sabah,” she added.

Twenty sun bears from Sabah were sent to the United States in 1998 and 2000 where they were placed at several zoos around the US.