The tropical forest habitat that OFI operates within is home to a diverse array of species in addition to the Bornean Orangutan. Like orangutans, sun bears are struggling to find safe and suitable habitation due to large-scale deforestation and poaching. As a result, OFI is stepping up to care for an increasing number of at-risk bears. To prepare for their release into the wild, the sun bears spend enrichment time in forested enclosures where they can practice climbing, foraging and social skills.

17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_10_Lensa Cicilia_wm
New arrival Lensa has adapted quickly to her new home and continues to flourish. She has already shown a natural aptitude for tree climbing, characteristic of sun bears who, like orangutans, forage for food in trees. Lensa’s long, curved claws help her to climb and tear at trees, and her hairless paws stabilize her grip on wet tree branches.

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17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_14_Memo_wm 17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_13_Memo_wm
Memo is the oldest and most dominant of the sun bear cubs. Here, she reminds plucky young John who’s in charge with a warning growl.

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17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_19_John Kobar_wm
John keeps his distance after Memo’s rebuke, but quickly hops up to take her spot in the tree after she leaves. He eagerly licks up any termites she might have missed, extending his nearly 10-inch-long tongue to extract the insects.

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17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_58_Lensa Cicilia_wm
Lensa stays close by John and learns important skills as she watches him forage for food on the forest ground.

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17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_30_John Kobar_wm
John and Lensa have quickly struck up a close friendship, and gleefully spend most of their day in the forest chasing each other around and wrestling on the forest floor.

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17.09.16._Sun Bear Cub Release_CGD_62_Lensa Cicilia, John Kobar_wm

Eventually Lensa gets tired of rough-housing with John and seeks a reprieve. John may be bigger and stronger, but Lensa is a much better climber!

2 Comments

  • William Drews
    2016-12-20 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for allowing many of us who can’t with you in person to see the work (hard work) that exists trying to save many of God’s creatures. It is easy to see that if we can’t save many animal or bird types we won’t be able to save man.
    Keep up this wonderful work.
    Merry Christmas
    Love JoAnn and Bill Drews

  • 2016-12-29 at 12:40 am

    Thanks for a very interesting and enjoyable description of sun bear in action

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