Buyer saves sun bear cub sold by poachers
Rescued cub handed over to conservation centre
A sun bear cub that was put up for sale by poachers has been rescued by a Good Samaritan who bought it and gave it to the Sabah Wildlife Department.
The three-month-old bear was taken to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok, Sandakan, in Sabah, on Thursday and has been named Tan-Tan.
The cub had been put up for sale in the remote Paitan district when it was spotted by the buyer, The Star reported.
The anonymous buyer gave the sun bear to the authorities.
Tan-Tan is the 44th rescued sun bear to be placed at the centre since it was set up more than six years ago.
"The cub has been put under quarantine. It is being given round-the-clock care by our staff," said the centre's founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.
The centre is now caring for 35 sun bears.
Its website states that sun bears are also known as honey bears because of their fondness for honey.
It added: "They are often found in appalling conditions - without a home, a mother, or left to rot in tiny cages."
Mr Wong told The Star that it was important for the public to understand that buying sun bears would encourage poachers to capture the animal for profit. He said he wanted to thank the person who had bought the cub and sent it to the wildlife department.
"The best way to help a sun bear or other wildlife being traded is to report the matter to the department immediately," Mr Wong was quoted as saying.
"This will allow law enforcement officers to go after and prosecute those found selling protected animals or their parts.
"We have to avoid buying wildlife. When the buying stops, the poaching and killing will stop, too."
The cost of caring for sun bears is huge, said Mr Wong, who appealed to the public to support the centre through donations or by adopting bears like Tan-Tan.