Bornean Sunbear Conservation 6 Week
The Sun Bear, native to South East Asia, is struggling to survive. Their homelands are being lost rapidly to deforestation and poachers hunt them mercilessly for body parts and fur.
This placement allows you to contribute to vital sun bear conservation, whilst learning more about these incredible mammals.
You will spend two weeks working alongside the team at The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).
Based approximately 19km from Sandakan, the BSBCC is the only sun bear conservation centre in the world. The key aims of the centre are to provide care and rehabilitation to rescued sun bears and to increase awareness of sun bears internationally.
Your role as a sun bear assistant will include:
The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat, such as:
- Providing leaves in cages for bedding and nesting purposes
- Buying special fruit to ensure a varied diet
- Putting branches from fig or fruit trees in their homes to observe behaviour
- Rope work – the more varied and fun for the animal the better
- Hiding food around cages to encourage foraging behavior
- Trekking into the jungle in search of termite nests
During your placement, you may be asked to talk to local school children and design an education session for them. You may also be asked to speak to visitors at the centre about sun bears.
In addition, interns are in charge of updating the blog and data entry of the bear behaviour record and the weekly record.
Cleaning is vital as good hygiene helps to prevent disease. This includes the glamourous task of clearing animal faeces, a job which comes with the territory!
Low level maintenance tasks may also be involved, such as daily checks on the facilities, electric fence voltage, weeding to avoid short circuit, painting etc.
No qualifications are required to participate in this programme, but it is a perfect opportunity for anyone who has an interest in or is studying Wildlife Conservation or Zoology.
At the end of your intern placement, you will join our other volunteers and stay in two Camps International locations; Camp Tinangol and Camp Mantanani. You will gain a deeper understanding of Borneo and make a personal contribution to some of our vital project initiatives.
For those who love white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and their own remote tropical island (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), Mantanani might just be the perfect location.
The island lies about 80km north of Kota Kinabalu and is home to around 800 permanent residents. The surrounding coral reef and lagoon are home to juvenile turtles, rays, a variety of tropical fish and even the occasional dolphin passes by.
The camp itself is set right on the beach a little way from the main village where many of our community projects are based, allowing you to feel part of this amazing community for the time that you’re here.
Location: 80 km north of Kota Kinabalu. (around 1.5 hrs drive from KK to Kuala Abai Jetty, then 1 hr boat ride to Mantanani Island)
Accommodation: Beautiful open sided driftwood bunk houses with comfy mattresses & bedding including mosquito net. Asian style toilets, cold water showers & sinks
Power: Generator (between 18:00 – 06:00). British 3 pin power sockets
Phone Signal: Intermittent
Meals: Three healthy, well balanced and tasty meals a day e.g. bread, pancakes, oats for breakfast; rice, beef stew/fish with veg for lunch/dinner & fruit
Signature dish: Stewed beef in soy sauce & pumpkin in coconut milk
If you’re feeling brave: Try Sambal Bellman (shrimp paste) or Kuih Tahai
Social: Beach, campfire, snorkelling, kayak, volleyball
day to day
Welcome to Borneo
Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, where you will be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Borneo team and transferred to your accommodation in the city.
Transfer to APE Malaysia
Today we will transfer you overland to Sandakan to meet the APE Malaysia team who are partnered with the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Here you will meet the other interns in your group and you will enjoy a welcome dinner and a briefing from a member of the APE team.
Today you will head to The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. You will meet the team and be taken on a tour of the centre before your placement starts tomorrow.
Your working hours at BSBCC are 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.
Weekends are usually free time (this can be subject to change according to programme requirements).
A member of the Camp Borneo team will pick you up from BSBCC around midday and you will be transferred to one of our camps to join other Camps volunteers and work on our projects.
Camps International Programme
You will spend the next two weeks working on projects at Camp Tinangol and Camp Mantanai. Please speak to a member of our UK team for a detailed itinerary.
Say your goodbyes and we will take you to the airport for your flight.
Top up your trip
Add some extra adventure to your time in South East Asia. All top ups bookable through our friendly travel advisors.
Jungle Trek Borneo
Experience a true jungle adventure and get back to nature by spending a few days trekking in the beautiful and ancient rainforests of Borneo, away from civilization. Spend your days trekking through dense forests and...Find Out More
PADI Scuba Borneo
Borneo is surrounded by beautiful beaches, blue tropical ocean and abundant coral reefs, so why not take the opportunity to explore this underwater paradise! Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced diver, there...Find Out More
Mount Kinabalu Trek
Mount Kinabalu (or Mt K as the locals call it) stands at an impressive 4096 metres above sea level and is the highest point in South East Asia. The views from the summit are utterly...Find Out More
Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.