By Ian Hall
The new bear house at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre Should have been completed this month however we have been delayed by bad weather.
Our site being low lying and barely above the water table has degenerated into bottomless gloop. luckily most of the building was up before the rainy season but materials deliveries and availability of dry working space has suffered. Under the conditions the contractor has done us proud and the quality of workmanship in the most important components, the cages, is excellent.
We’re now putting the final touches to an array of slide bars, pulleys, clamps, locks and counterweights that will make operation of the building safe for both bears and keepers.
One final hurdle remains after that, to connect the forest enclosure electric fencing to the building so that the bears’ release into a natural environment can be controlled. There has been much chin scratching on the part of all partners; Wildlife, Forestry and BSBCC on this one. Wildlife Dept are concerned about orang-utans getting into the bear enclosure and Forestry Dept are concerned about how they are going to prune trees to prevent arboreal bears from escaping the enclosure!
It was never going to be an easy task ensuring that captive bears have controlled access to primary rainforest however this is the feature that will set this sanctuary / conservation centre apart from any other.