The world’s smallest bear does not have it easy. The Sun Bear is listed as vulnerable and it only found in the tropical forests of South East Asia. Like most other creatures that share this planet with us, the Sun Bear suffers from loss of habitat due to human activities. The Sun Bear lives in the forest, and in Borneo the logging and palm oil industries steadily and rapidly encroach into the bear’s habitat.
But the saddest and most tragic threat to the Sun Bear is illegal poaching for use in traditional Chinese medicine. The bile of the Sun Bear is a much sought after ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicine, and while there is still demand for these products, unfortunately the bears will continue to be at threat.
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre is the only centre of it’s kind in the world. It’s mission is to provide a safe environment to rehabilitate rescued bears, rescued from the bile or the illegal pet trade and rehabilitate them so they can eventually be released back into the wild.
Currently there are 37 rescued or orphaned bears living at the centre. The centres main objective is to rehabilitate the bears so that they can be released back into the wild, although sadly that is not possible with some of the resident bears. These bears will live the rest of their lives in the relative peace of the centre, and their presence will hopefully help to educate people about the plight of these small and beautiful creatures.
The Sun Bear conservation centre is open every day of the year, from 9 AM until 3:30 PM. From the entrance of the centre it is only a short board walk to the main viewing platform. From here you can watch the bears in two of the different enclosures as they play, eat, climb, and nap.
Staff are often present at the viewing platform, who are eager to answer any questions you may have.
The cost to visit the centre is 30 Ringgits for a non-Malaysian adult, and the centre is located directly across the road from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation centre.