It took longer than planned, but Enclosure E was finally completed in June and 3 bears, Oscar, Arkana and Sibear are now enjoying it. Arkana is particularly happy because she really hates being locked up. She arrived at Samboja Lestari as a cub many years ago and went for daily walks in the forest until she got too big to handle. She was then kept in a cage for many years but is now happy to have some space and freedom again. She loves to climb the trees and sleep in them.
During the months of July and August we had a new “training enclosure” built. This is small enclosure of about 300 m2 in which the bears learn about electric fencing. They usually spend a few weeks in this enclosure where they can be monitored and are then transferred to a large forest enclosure in which they recognise the same electric fence that they have learnt to respect. So we now have 2 training enclosures at Samboja where up to 6 bears can get ready for the large forest enclosures.
Oscar and Sibear
We are now beginning work on Enclosure F at Samboja Lestari. This enclosure will be 0,95 hectares in size with 4 dens. The 4 bears who will be moved to this new enclosure are now in the Training Enclosure, learning about the electric fencing. Enclosure F will be entirely paid for by BOS Switzerland and we hope to finish it by the end of November.
This fall Sunbear Outreach also plans to make another 1 hectare forest enclosure and 5 dens for the bears at the Care Centre of the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) in Central Kalimantan. The budget needed for this is USD 48 000. OFI doesn’t have the resources to help financially, so Sunbear Outreach needs to find all the funds on its own. I hope to raise the money and get the enclosure built before the end of 2018 so that it can become a new home for a poor bear kept in very bad conditions in a town called Tanjung Selor, as you can see on the pictures.
We are still working on the construction of Enclosure E at the sun bear sanctuary of BOSF in East Kalimantan. The rains and the difficulty of bringing the supplies to the construction site have considerably slowed the progress but we hope to finish this new 0,7 hectare forest enclosure before May 15th.
Construction of Giono’s new den
In the mean time, we did a small outdoor enclosure for an old bear called Giono. This bear has difficulties coordinating his movements due to neurological problems. He moves around very slowly and he can’t climb, so we built an enclosure especially for him. It is about 150 m2 in size with an attached den where Giono can shelter from rain and sun.
We moved Giono to his new home on the 28th April. The door between the den and the outdoor enclosure is left open so that he can chose to go wherever he pleases. He seems happy to feel the forest floor under his feet and is moving around sniffing the forest and digging in cool shaded places where he can rest.
Giono in his new den
Gino going out into the enclosure
I would like to personally thank all the volunteers who have helped build this new den and enclosure as well as the people who have donated funds to Sun Bear Outreach enabling us to buy the material needed for the construction.
At the Sun Bear Sanctuary of BOSF Samboja Lestari, Kalimantan, Indonesia, Windi and Petung have been enjoying the Enclosure D with its 0,67 Ha of forest since January 17th. Windi has hardly been seen since the 17th, she spends all her time inside the enclosure behind the tree cover. Her quest for privacy shows in hindsight how much she must have suffered during the long years spent in her cage, never able to get away from humans into her own space.
Windi when I first met her in 2015
I sometimes meet Windi in the dens in the late afternoon when all is quiet and she seems happy and calm. Petung, however, is having a hard time adapting to his new environment. He used to be best buddies with Windi, but now he is very often seen alone, pacing along the fence of the enclosure. I suspect Windi is chasing Petung away, but I don’t know why. I’m waiting a little in the hope that they will sort things out by themselves, before I add another female to the group hoping that a third party will resolve Petung’s issue.
Windi and Petung going into the enclosure for the first time
Work on Enclosure E has begun. It will be about 0,7 Ha in size, it has some nice big trees and will be the new home for another 3 bears. The daily rains are considerably slowing down the work in progress, but little by little we’ll finish this one too, and move on to the next enclosure. We still need about 4500 EUR to finish Enclosure E, so any donation is more than welcomed.
At the Sun Bear Sanctuary of BOSF Samboja Lestari, Kalimantan in Indonesia, Enclosure D is now almost complete and fully paid for. It will be the new home for 3 bears who have spent most of their lives in small cages: Petung, Windi and a third bear to be determined. They will be transferred into Enclosure D in January.
All the 13 bears in the Enclosures A, B and C are doing well. There are still a few difficulties in making groups who get along, so we continue moving the bears around to try find the perfect match, but overall the bears all go out in the forest of the enclosures and enjoy a much better quality of life than they had before.
Jeni and Jay in Enclosure A
Maria Enclosure B
After the New Year we will also begin construction of Enclosure E of 0,95 Ha, for another 4 bears. We still need about 5 000 € to complete the budget for this new enclosure and hope you will be able to help fill in the missing funds. Thank you for supporting Sun Bear Outreach in its mission to improve the wellbeing of captive sun bears in Indonesia.
Enclosure C on the left and Enclosure B on the right
At the Sun Bear Sanctuary of BOSF Samboja Lestari, Kalimantan, Indonesia, we built 3 large forest enclosures from January to September 2017 for a total of 13 bears. Our objective is to build another 12 enclosures over an area of 14 Ha so that all the 61 sun bears in the care of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation can have access to their natural environment and enjoy meaningful lives.
Map of the 15 enclosures A to 0.
Work on the next forest enclosure will begin on October 1st, it will be 0,7 hectares in size and will hold 3 bears. The budget for building this enclosure, called Enclosure D, is estimated at about 40 000 USD. This includes the construction of a 330m long fence with its 70cm deep foundation, the purchase and setup of an electric fence as well as the construction of 3 dens and their furnishing. We hope to complete Enclosure D by December 1st.
Arkana in Enclosure A
Jay and Kumala in Enclosure A
I am now in France where I’m actively seeking funds for this new enclosure and I’ll be back in Samboja Lestari Indonesia to supervise the construction of Enclosure D on September 22nd. I hope you can help, any donation is greatly appreciated… thank you for your support.
I write from Tarakan, a small town in North-East Kalimantan, where, in February, I had built wooden climbing structures and platforms in a new large empty cage for 2 female sun bears. I had also taken a young male cub called Brutus from a private owner who did not want him anymore and had introduced him to the two girls. All had gone well and I had left the 3 bears together in the new 8m x 8m (and 4m high) cage.
Moving Brutus to his new cage
Sadly a few days after my departure the people in charge of the bears separated Brutus from the two girls because they had a fight in which Brutus was slightly wounded. So Brutus has since been alone in a small inadequate cage. When I came back to Tarakan about a month ago, I was sad to see how stressed he was, nervously pacing all day in his small cage. He suckled when I patted him, but then went back to frantic pacing at the slightest noise or movement around.
New cage for Brutus
Unfortunately there isn’t any sun bear sanctuary where I could take Brutus to, so I had a new cage built for him, next to that of the two girls, with a corridor linking the two cages so that we can put the 3 bears together again and easily separate them if necessary. We transferred Brutus to his new 4m x 4m cage yesterday and began the introductions with the 2 girls, Rina and Fitri, right away. Brutus and Fitri, the little one, are getting along fine but there is some tension between Brutus and Rina, the bigger female. It might take some time before all 3 bears can be together but at least Brutus is much more relaxed in his new cage.
Brutus in his new cage
Brutus and Fitri
I must go back to Samboja tomorrow to pursue work on my forest enclosures, but I hope the people here will continue letting the Brutus and the two girls together progressively, and that all will go well.
The cost for making this new cage was about 3 000 €. All paid for by Sun Bear Outreach thanks to your kind donations. Thank you for you support.
All is going well at the BOSF sun bear sanctuary in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The first 1,65 Ha forest enclosure that we’ve been working on for the last 3 months is finished and has become the new home for Oscar, Apang, Kecil and Arkana since April 29th. The 4 bears spend most of their time in the forest but come back to the dens for breakfast and afternoon feed.
Oscar, Apang, Kecil and Arkana have all spent many years alone in small 1,25 m2 cages and they are now in a group with over 16 000 m2 of forest to play in. They are surely living the happiest days of their lives, discovering the habitat they were meant to live in, foraging, playing in the creek that runs across their park, sleeping in trees, being bears in their own private space away from humans. And they will soon be joined by another 3 bears (Jay, Maria and Kumala) who are presently in the training enclosure learning about the electric fence.
The new home of Oscar, Apang, Kecil and Arkana
Apang and Kecil now
Oscar and Arkana now
The second enclosure of 0,7 Ha is about half finished, I hope to see it completed by June 1st. Then we’ll make the third enclosure of about the same size. These 2 enclosures will each hold 3 bears. Financially, Sun Bear Outreach is still missing about € 10 000 EUR to be able to finish the 3rd enclosure, so I’m hoping I can continue counting on your support.
In the name of the bears, thank you for making a donation.
I spent the last 8 days in a small town called Tarakan in the North part of East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia. I had been there last year in April to make improvements to the small cage of 2 female sun bears, Fitri and Rina, in a local recreational park. Since, the park authorities built a large 8m x 8m cage (4m high) but it was void of any enrichment and did not have a holding cage. So I went back to Tarakan to improve the new cage and help transfer the bears into it.
New cage with improvements
New cage with improvements
I had a holding cage built within the new cage and I set up several wooden platforms and climbing structures. I also put up a hammock. While I was there I heard of another sun bear called Brutus, kept in a small cage at someone’s house. I went to meet the bear and the owner who agreed to give his bear to the park authorities so as to put him with Fitri and Rina in the new big cage. This is what we did and it all went very well.
Brutus at his owner’s place
Fitri and Rina in their old cage
Brutus is a young juvenile who was hand raised by his owner and had never met another bear. He was so happy to meet the 2 girls and they were happy to meet him too. They all began playing as soon as I let them together. Brutus, Fitri and Rina are still in a cage but their life is better now than it has ever been.
Thank you for your support and thank you for making a donation to help me continue improving the welfare of captive sun bears in Indonesia.
The 3 sun bears, Apang, Kecil and Dawai, have been given access to the small enclosure since January 8th. It took a few trials for Apang and Kecil to understand the electric fencing but they now completely avoid touching the wires. After many years spent in small cages on cement flooring, they can finally enjoy a bit of space, some vegetation, the earth under their feet and stuff to climb. Life is much better for them today than it’s been in a long time.
It’s been more difficult for Dawai, our 3rd candidate to test the electric fencing in the small enclosure. His eyesight is so bad that he can’t see the electric wires on the fence as he approaches them. He was repeatedly getting zapped by bumping into the wires unable to understand what was happening, nor how to avoid getting more zaps. So we stopped the training for Dawai and we’ll have to find another solution… electric fencing is not adequate for bears with too poor eyesight.
Apang now – in small enclosure
Construction of the 2 Ha forest enclosure is going well. 150 meters of new fencing on the South side have been build, and we have another 140 m to go on the East side. We hope to finish the enclosure by the end of February 2017. We are now budgeting the making of another 2 forest enclosures, one of 0,6 Ha and another of 0,7 Ha, each for 3 bears.
Thank you for your support, thank you for making a donation.
We’ve made good progress in the last few weeks. We’ve finished the construction of the small enclosure in which the bears will learn to familiarize themselves with the electric fencing. All that needs to be done now is set up the electric fence, then the 3 sun bears Apang, Kecil and Dawai will be able to go out and enjoy a bit of extra space while waiting for the big 2 Ha enclosure to be finished.
Construction of the 2 Ha forest enclosure is now in progress. With your help we should be able to finish it by February 2017. And when it’s done, we’ll make more large enclosures so that all the sun bears at BOS Samboja Lestari may have access to some of their natural habitat.