Hi everyone – just wanted to give you an update on the sun bear cubs from Sun Bear Outreach.
If you don’t recall their cutie patootie faces here is a refresher – Khala is on the left and Lucy is on the right.
When I was in Borneo in January 2020, Khala and Lucy were still young enough to learn the critical skills they would need to return to the wild. Sun Bear Outreach had organised for volunteers to provide 24/7 care for them. Khala had forest walks during the day (Lucy was still too small) and they both had milk every few hours. The plan was to rehabilitate and release them back to the wild.
I had the privilege of looking after them for a week or so with my friend Beth while one of the volunteers was away. It was an amazing experience. Not easy – hot and humid, mozzies biting my face every 2 seconds, Khala biting me whenever she got a chance and the fear of getting chased by monkeys was very real (yes I am a scaredy cat). But it was amazing, an experience that in all honesty I wish I had cherished more when I was there. It is something I don’t think I will get to do again and something that most people won’t get to do in their lifetime.
So what are they doing now?
Long story short, COVID-19 has really stuffed up the plans for these bears. The sanctuary that they are currently living at has put all projects on hold during the COVID crisis. Also, to make matters worse, poachers have been spotted at the proposed release site for Khala and Lucy. Given the circumstances, releasing these two beauties back into the wild is no longer viable.
The good news is that little Miss Khala has been relocated into a forest enclosure with some of her friends. So she will be able to live her life in a safe space with trees to climb and friends to play with. She has settled in well and is getting along well with all of her friends.
Little Miss Lucy is currently in smaller enclosure with one other friend, Gaia. The two cubs are like two peas in a pod – playing and wrestling the days away. Sun Bear Outreach are fundraising to build a larger one like the one Khala and her friends live in.
So that’s all for now folks but before I go I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported The Karma Collective and in turn, Sun Bear Outreach last year. It’s because of people like you, that these bears are able to live in spacious forest environments. If you’d like to help fund the new enclosure that Sun Bear Outreach are hoping to build, please feel free to make a donation directly to Sun Bear Outreach here.