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.
I’m happy to share with you this short video explaining the project now under way. The cost to build a training enclosure, 3 holding dens and a 2 hectare forest enclosure is about 50 000 €. You can see the details of this budget in the attached flyer below. (just click on the link)
So far, Sun Bear Outreach have managed to raise 28 000 € of the 50 000 € needed to complete the project. So we now need to find another 22 000 € !
I hope you can help. Any small amount would be very much appreciated, because in the end they all add up, and they’ll allow us to finish this first 2 Ha enclosure, which will be like paradise for the 6 bears who will enjoy it.
On behalf of the bears, thank you for your support.
Work for this new project began on October 24th 2016 and despite the daily rains, we have made good progress. One team is dismantling old 1,25 m2 holding cages that we will later reassemble into 9 m2 holding cages for the new forest enclosures. Another team is making the foundation for the future fence of the small enclosure and placing the posts that will support the harmonica mesh and electric fencing. And a third team is making the foundation of the cement flooring on which 3 new holding cages will be placed.
I’m happy that after just one week, the project is well under way and looking good. Thank you for your support.
I’m happy to inform you that we will soon be beginning the construction of the 4 Ha forest enclosure for the sun bears at BOSF Samboja Lestari in Indonesia. I will be on site from October 17th onwards and will begin construction work right away.
Of the estimated 62 000 euros needed to complete the project, I have so far raised about 25 000 €, so I have enough to begin work but I still need to raise another 37 000 €. This is where your help is precious. Any small amount is greatly appreciated because in the end it all adds up and your contribution will, in affect, enable the completion of the project.
On this note, I would life to thank all students and teachers at the United World College of Singapore (picture above) who recently did a fundraising event for this project and managed to raise 2000 €.
Since 2014, Sun Bear Outreach has focused on improving the wellbeing of captive sun bears who are in the care of organizations dedicated to orang-utans in Indonesia. After making a 1 hectare forest enclosure for 3 sun bears at the Care Centre of the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) in 2014, we built a 650 m2 enclosure for another two sun bears at OFI in 2015. We then moved on to help the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) improve its facilities for the 45 sun bears in its care at Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan.
Jay and Lis waiting for their 2 Ha enclosure
At Samboja Lestari, in 2015/2016, Sun Bear Outreach in collaboration BOSF, focused on building new bigger cages and renovating old ones for the 20 sun bears who were kept in small inadequate cages. For 2017 our present project, is to build several large forest enclosures for these same 20 bears.
The bears at Samboja Lestari are all adults who cannot go back to the wild because they are too habituated to humans and don’t have the skills to survive in the wild. But they don’t deserve to be locked up, on the contrary, they deserve the best possible captive life we can give them, which is to have access to some of their natural habitat and enjoy a social life with other bears.
Forest of the first 2 Ha enclosure
the BOSF Sanctuary in Samboja Lestari. Patrick Rouxel, founder of Sun Bear Outreach, is on site as a long term volunteer, supervising the construction. With the financial support of BOS Switzerland and the funds raised through Sun Bear Outreach, we are now making a 2 hectare forest enclosure, a small training enclosure and a set of 3 holding dens.
The total budget for this first phase is 50 000 €. We hope to finish the work by February 2017 and begin the construction of a second large forest enclosure in March 2017. For the latest update check our NEWS/BLOG.
I’m back in France since April 15th. I’m here to make a 52 min version of my latest film on sun bears, to search for funds and to work to earn some money so that I can go back to Indonesia to continue helping the sun bears. During the 6 months that I just spent at BOS Samboja Lestari, I had new cages built and old ones renovated improving the welfare of 20 sun bears.
I’m happy to say that no more bears at Samboja Lestari are held in the small holding cages. They are now in cages from 4 to 25 m2 in size, with wooden platforms and hammocks. The last 3 sun bears to be transferred to new cages were Dawai, Kecil and Apang as you can see on the pictures. This improvement, although significant, is of course insufficient and the objective of allowing all the bears to have access to outdoor forest enclosures remains.
The next project of Sun Bear Outreach, in collaboration with BOS Foundation, will be to finish the construction of a 4,14 hectare forest enclosure next to where the bears are now (bottom right corner on the map). Five years ago, this area was fenced out for the making of a large sun bear enclosure, but the project was not completed. The budget needed for repairing and finishing the fence, for adding an electric fencing, for building 3 new holding cages and for making a training enclosure (in which the bears will become familiar with electric fencing) is about 70 000 USD. We, Sun Bear Outreach and BOS Foundation, hope to raise the funds over the summer so that I can go back to Samboja in September to see this project through.
I spent last week in Tarakan, a small town North-East of Kalimantan, to help improve the welfare of 2 bears held by the Ministry of Forestry. The two sweet females have been living together in a metal cage of 1,5m x 3m (and 1,8m high) for the last five years. The only item in the cage was a water basin that was chained up in a way that the bears could not bathe in it. A few boards served as a roof and all the bears’ litter and food waste just fell to the dirt ground below the cage. The partition wall and door within the cage was broken making it impossible to keep the bears on one side or the other.
The first thing I did was to have a temporary holding cage made in which we could place the bears while fixing and improving their main cage. With some of the staff from the Forest Department, we went to the local fire station to ask for some old fire hose with which we made a hammock. Wood that had been confiscated from illegal loggers served to make a sleeping platform. A welder fixed up the partition wall and partition door, making human access to either side of the cage now possible. We made a cement floor below the cage to be able to easily hose the litter away and we added a few sheets of corrugated iron on the boards that served as the roof.
The whole operation took 6 days and cost about 450 euros. The two bears are still in the same cage, but they now have a hammock, a wooden platform, a water basin that they can go into, a waterproof roof and a cleaner environment. In the hope that the staff follow my recommendations, the 2 bears will, from now on, also get a better diet and a regular supply of ferns and branches to play with.
Unfortunately, there is no sanctuary in Kalimantan that could receive these two sun bears, and they are so tamed that they would have no chance of survival were they set free in the forest. I would like to give them access to an outdoor enclosure with some trees, but I don’t have the possibility to do so right now. Sadly, these two sweet girls who have not even been given names, will have to continue living in their 4,5 square meters until a better solution for them can be found.
During the month of February and the first week of March, we’ve dismantled 20 old small holding cages to reassemble them into 6 new larger enclosures. The new enclosures were then equipped with wooden platforms and hammocks, with partition doors between them, allowing the possibility of grouping the bears who get along.
The first bears to be transferred were Iis, Eric and Jay. They had all been kept in small holding cages and thus went from living in 1,25 square meters to 9 square meters. The effect on their wellbeing is very noticeable. Iis, the small female, is particularly happy and playful since the move. She is also intrigued with her new neighbour Eric. Since both Eric and Jay underwent a vasectomy when transferred, they will soon be able to be with Iis to play and mate. It’s still life in captivity for Iis, Eric and Jay, but it’s getting better. Thank you for your support.
It’s been fairly busy around the bears at Samboja over the last 2 weeks. As you can see on the pictures, Fahri and Maria are enjoying their new more spacious enclosure, a new enclosure was set up for Jono, the mesh flooring of 8 old enclosures was removed and replaced with a cement floor (much more appropriate for bears) and two new water basins were installed in two outdoor yards.
Little by little the general living conditions of the bears at Samboja is improving. There’s not a day that goes by without progress being made. We are now making 3 new enclosures for another 3 bears that are still kept in small holding cages. This means making a cement floor, a roof and setting up the enclosures. It’s quite a lot of work and money for every set of new enclosures, so your donation is more than ever welcomed. Thank you.
It’s been a while since my last update…. Sorry about that. The good news is that since I last wrote, four new cages have been installed, as you can see on the pictures.
Oscar, a friendly and energetic young male sun bear who was kept in a small holding cage, was the first to be transferred to one of the four new cages. Then next to him we put in Jono, a lively male who always wants to play. I thought Jono and Oscar would become fiends and play together when we open the partition door between the 2 cages, but I was wrong. Jono just wanted to fight with Oscar, he was so aggressive that after 24 hours we had put Jono back in his old cage. These cages are meant for pairs who get along well. We’ll have to find a new friend for Oscar and another solution for Jono.
One pair that gets along very well is Maria and Fahri. They arrived at Samboja in 2008 as a couple but were separated to avoid breeding. In November 2015 Fahri underwent a vasectomy and he is now reunited with his girl friend since Jan 11th. When they met again for the first time after 7 years of separation, they connected right away like old friends. They are now together again as a couple and will soon be transferred to two new cages that communicate through a partition door, while their old cages can be renovated and used for other bears.