Project work in Borneo
On site, the project is implemented by BOS Foundation’s dedicated employees and volunteers (veterinarians and animal keepers). Among these, Chief Animal Keeper Alyas and his team have been maintaining the cages for many years. Agnes, the Chief Veterinarian on site, carries out routine health checks and takes care of emergencies.
Patrick Rouxel, an external bear expert and founder of Sun Bear Outreach, supports the BOS employees in their daily work. Years ago, he lost his heart to the bears and has since been instrumental in planning and constructing the new outdoor enclosures. In the future, he will serve as an external consultant to BOS Foundation’s Sun Bear Program.
Numerous professional volunteers, also from Switzerland, support the program regularly – during short stays or over longer periods of time. All of them are non-employed by BOS Foundation and offer their assistance and expertise for free. Kim and Marco launched the bearinmind.ch campaign in 2019 after they had joined the BOS Schweiz volunteers program in 2018, visited the BOS rescue center in Samboja Lestari and assisted the sun bears there. Ever since, they have been supporting the campaign with BOS Schweiz from Zurich.
Numerous external experts such as veterinarians and animal keepers also contribute their valuable knowledge to the BOS Sun Bear Program as volunteers. Currently, Aimee Ferguson is on site as a volunteer assisting day and night. She prepares the bear babies for a possible reintroduction into the wild.
Volunteers for the Bears
«I am currently helping as a volunteer bear cub care worker and assistant release-project coordinator at BOS Foundation’s Sun Bear Program in Samboja Lestari. I am 25 years old and a trained animal care worker from England. I studied Animal Management and Husbandry, specialising in behaviour and nutrition and then continued with a BSc Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare specialising in cognition and social structures. I have been working with animals for 7 years in everything from exotic pet rescue to vet nurse assistance with 4 years working in licensed zoos, including an internship with Chester zoo’s carnivore team where I worked closely with Andean and Sun Bears. I came to Indonesia to offer my experience and to learn more about the issues these animals are facing in the wild.»
«I am half Swedish, half French and I grew up in Malaysia and Singapore. I studied Humanities at UC Berkeley in California, then Comparative Literature at La Sorbonne in Paris. After working for more than 10 years in the supervision of digital special effects for feature films, I decided to go freelance as a filmmaker for wildlife documentaries. Since 2003, I’ve been making films dedicated to the protection of the tropical rainforest and animal welfare.
In 2011, a chance encounter with an orphan sun bear cub in the town of Sintang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia changed the course of my life. I ended up spending about 3 years in the forest with 3 sun bear cubs. Being with the bears in their natural habitat opened my eyes to the suffering of those kept in cages and triggered my commitment to improve the welfare of captive sun bears in Indonesia. Thus was born Sun Bear Outreach.»
The supporting organisation
bearinmind.ch is a campaign of Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Schweiz in cooperation with BOS Foundation and Sun Bear Outreach.
Your donation is earmarked for the BOS Foundation's Sun Bear Program in Borneo, Indonesia. At the end of the donation year you will receive a donation receipt from BOS Schweiz.
Since 2017, BOS Schweiz has been the most important donor to BOS Foundation’s Sun Bear Program at Samboja Lestari. For many years and due to severe financial shortcomings, the sun bears had lived a shadowy existence. This changed significantly within the last years mainly thanks to financial support from Switzerland. Since 2017, BOS Schweiz has financed 15 new forest enclosures with the necessary and attached infrastructure (e.g. training enclosures, electric fencing, food sheds, holding cages or staff quarters).
In addition to the sun bears, BOS Schweiz also supports orangutans rescued by BOS Foundation and BKSDA who are rehabilitated and therefore prepared for a life in freedom in Samboja Lestari. Just like the sun bears, these orangutans are threatened with extinction because their habitat is destroyed and the babies are illegally kept as pets. Learn more about BOS Schweiz.