SUN BEAR SUPPORT
Confiscated from illegal ownership, seven sun bears (Helarctos malayanus eurispylus) now live at the Kawasan Wisata Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup (KWPLH) sun bear education center. KWPLH is an environmental education and recreation facility that the Pro Natura Foundation is helping to develop in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Sun bears are frequently killed or kept as pets, despite having formal protected status in Indonesia since 1973. Ongoing loss of sun bear habitat in Indonesia and the stresses, as well as frequent handicaps obtained during captivity make it impossible for the bears at the KWPLH sun bear education center to be rehabilitated for life in the forests from which they were illegally taken as cubs.
In 2005/2006 we constructed a 1.3 ha forest enclosure to house these bears. Unlike the small cages they were kept in as pets, here they can at least explore, dig, climb trees, forage, and carry out all the other “bear” necessities. By serving as ‘wildlife ambassadors’ to educate the local people about conservation and ecology, our bears will hopefully assist to ensure a future for wild sun bears.
Five of our sun bears live in the large forest enclosure, whereas two young new sun bears [Pedro and Chandra] are still living separately, until they are large enough to be grouped with the other bears.
Pro Natura Foundation helps with the construction of new facilities needed for these new bear cubs, as well as all maintenance and repairs to the enclosure and bear holding area. For more information about sun bears click here
Pro Natura Foundation is helping the bear management at KWPLH sun bear center through:
- Medical care of the sun bears;
- Provision of dry food;
- Repairs and maintenance of sun bear holding and enclosure;
- Purchase of various supporting equipment (pressure cleaners, freezers, fridges and basic operational items);
- Providing electric fence equipment (through help of the Free the Bears Foundation);
- Enrichment for the sun bears;
- Building of new air-conditioned fruit storage building and bear keeper toilet;