Save Borneo Sun Bears
Save Borneo Sun Bears
Hello, my name is Violet Jaiyi Zeng (曾嘉懿).
I am a Chinese- born high school student in Los Angeles California. In the summer of 2019 I visited the jungles of Borneo on an internship with Shark Stewards Director David McGuire to make a film on wildlife and wildlife trade. I fell in love with the Malayan Sun Bears (Helarctos m. malayanus).
Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) are the smallest bears on Earth, and live only in SE Asia and Southern China. These bears are threatened by the pet trade, loss of habitat and Loss of habitat from deforestation and poaching have caused them to disappear from much of their range. The Malayan sun bear population has declined by at least 30% in the last 30 years leading to these charming bears to be classified as 'vulnerable' in 2007. This means they are at high risk of extinction in the wild (IUCN 2007).
Sun bears face threats from hunting, deforestation and degradation of habitat and in the pet trade.
Watch our new film Save Borneo Sun Bears and Take Action Below.
Sun bears are primarily hunted for their gall bladders (for use in Chinese folk medicine) and bear paws (as an expensive delicacy). In China and Vietnam, bile is milked from bears while they are still alive on bear farms. In Malaysia, bears are poached for their bladders and paws for traditional medicine and 70% is exported.
Killing sun bears is illegal in all of their native counties but is largely uncontrolled.
The main causes in Borneo are plantation development, unsustainable or illegal logging and human-caused fires. In Sumatra and Borneo, large-scale conversion of forest to oil palm or other cash crops is proceeding at a rate of 1,000s of km² per year (Holmes 2002).
Sun bear cubs are incredibly cute and there is a high demand for them as pets. The mother is killed and the orphaned cub is removed from the wild and commonly kept in small cages with inadequate care.
These bears are keystone species critical for the health of the rainforest ecosystems and are rapidly disappearing.
For these reasons we ask you to make bear bile and body parts illegal, prohibit all exports of bear and other protected species like pangolin, protect rainforests and support rehabilitation efforts such as those of the Sun Bear Borneo Conservation Center in Sabah.