Help Sarawak's Sun Bears
​​​Help LENZ Ltd to work with Taman Tumbina Bintulu, the Sarawak Forestry Department and Sarawak Planted Forests to identify suitable sites for the rehabilitation and release of captive Malayan sun bears in Sarawak, East Malaysia. 

Malayan sun bears are the worlds least understood bears. To help them we need to know more about them in their natural habitats.

And to do this we need your help! 

Malayan Sun Bears
 Confiscated Sun Bears in Sarawak

​​The Matang Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kuching Division of Sarawak is currently the only facility in Sarawak that is actively attempting to rehabilitate sun bears back into the wild, along with other charismatic species including orang-utan and Bornean gibbon. Other wildlife facilities in Sarawak also house sun bears that have either been donated by private individuals or have been confiscated from poachers. 

Similarly by the end of the 2010 calendar year the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sandakan, Sabah, housed 21 sun bears after receiving nine bears from Sabah Wildlife Department during the year that had been obtained from various sources. However unlike Sarawak, the Sabahan counterparts in captive sun bear rehabilitation are well advanced in their support, techniques and successes. In 2018 the Bornean Sunbear Conservation Centre succefully completed the first full sun bear reintroduction back into the wild!
    
The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the world’s smallest species of bear. It is listed in Appendix-1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) indicating that it is threatened with extinction, and is listed as vulnerable across its range in the International Union of Nature Conservation (IUCN) Red list. On the island of Borneo sun bear are described as occurring in extensive areas of forest and occasionally entering gardens in remote areas, however remain the least understood of all the worlds bear species. 
  
In Sarawak sun bears are listed as a Totally Protected Species, however like many such species they are still subject to illegal hunting for both consumption and sale, and to a range of other human threats. Five threats that can be directly attributed to human – sun bear interactions across their range: 1) bear depredation of human crops resulting in the elimination of offending bears; 2) hunting for human consumption; 3) sale of bears captured as young; 4) sale of bear parts following illegal hunting or depredation kills; and 5) effects of human resource extraction, such as timber harvest.


  
The number of live bears that are confiscated annually and deposited at captive wildlife facilities is likely to be only a small percentage of those that succumb to the threats listed here.  
  
Taman Tumbina Bintulu

Taman Tumbina Bintulu is a zoological garden in the Sarawak town of Bintulu. It receives on-average two Malayan sun bear each year from ‘donations’, or as animals confiscated from poachers. Although Taman Tumbina was originally established by the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) in 1991 as a wildlife rehabilitation centre, there is currently no programme to repatriate donated or confiscated animals like sun bear back into their natural habitats. As a result the facility is overstocked with a number of species including the Malayan sun bear. At the time of writing, Taman Tumbina Bintulu held 13 captive individuals at the facility, which exceeded their normal housing capacity by three animals.

LENZ Ltd would liek to work with a range of project partners in Sarawak and New Zealand to identify suitable sites for the rehabilitation and release of recently confiscated sun bears. Due to their fierce territorial nature release sites need to have low density of resident sun bears, and be far enough away from human activity that they are not at risk of further persecution.


In order to identify such locations, we need to first carry out wildlife inventories of rainforest areas to determine the presence of resident sun bears. To do this we need your help!
  
    
  1. Travel Related Costs
    Help us get to where we're needed
  2. Research Equipment
    Much needed gear for a developing country
  3. Hiring Local Workers
    Funding local longhouse people as field staff
  4. Planting Trees
    Repairing forest
  5. Supporting Students
    University students are a fantastic resource
  6. Feed Sunbears
    Captive sunbears need
Photograph: LENZ Ltd work with local project partners using camera traps to identify suitable release sites for recently confiscated Malayan sun bears
  1. $1800/pp
    Flights
  2. $850/wk
    Field Logistics
  3. $350/wk
    Student Internships
  4. $280/wk
    Local Fieldworkers
  1. $650/ea
    Radio Transmitters
  2. $500/ea
    Camera Traps
  3. $35/wk
    Feed a Sun Bear
  4. $5/ea
    Plant Trees