The Borneo Sun Bear Sanctuary

Visit one of the most threatened bear species in the world. You can experience the sun bear, which is native to the tropical rainforest in Borneo, from special viewing platforms. Sun Bear (Helarctos Malayanus) or Honey Bear (Beruang Madu in Bahasa Indonesia) is one of endanger species. The population is decreasing since a lot of rain forest in Kalimantan is converted into palm oil plantations or coal mining sites.

In Samboja, near the orangutan sanctuary and the canopy bridge, you can visit one of the most threatened bear species in the world. The sun bear, which is native to the tropical rainforest in Borneo, is the smallest species of bears in the world. They are threatened and displaced from their natural habitat by human activity. At the sun bear sanctuary, the often called ‘honey bear’ finds shelter.

You can observe these unique bears from special viewing platforms and learn about their life, habitat and behaviour. The sun bear sanctuary is located nearby the Borneo orangutan sanctuary, Canopy Bridge, black river and biking and trekking trails.

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is best known for its efforts in orangutan rescue and rehabilitation. But BOS is also involved in the rescue and confiscation of a number of other species, including the Malayan sun bear. At the request of the Government, Samboja Lestari is home to 46 sun bears, confiscated from the illegal pet trade or rescued from deforested areas. The sanctuary includes a 58 hectare area put aside for the bears including a 55 hectare patch of fenced secondary forest complete with maturing fruit trees and a flowing river and a second area of approximately 3 hectares. It is this second area that has been utilised to date.

With sun bears primarily a solitary animal and known to be aggressive in captivity, there have been concerns as to how the males in particular would interact.  This has resulted in many of the male bears having been limited to life in a cage – a less than perfect situation. However, since September 2008, a remarkable environmental and behavioural transformation has been occurring, where new animal management program was established and novel environmental enrichment ideas developed.

Canopy Bridge

At Bukit Bangkirai, you can enjoy the tropical rainforest of Borneo through a canopy bridge at a height of 30 metres from the ground. The place is named after a high density of Bangkirai trees that are well known as a tropical hardwood. The canopy bridge is 64 metres in length and connects tropical rainforest trees that are hundreds of years old and reach a height of 40-50 metres. Experience the Borneo giant trees and animals with unique views from an aerial perspective.

Boating black river

In the immediate vicinity of Bukit Bangkirai, you can experience the Borneo jungle by boating the rainforest river of Sungai Hitam. This is the so-called Black River, one of the wetland areas in East Kalimantan. It offers you the possibility to spot spectacular birds and wildlife including big groups proboscis monkey, snakes, hornbills, macaques and occasionally orangutans.You can go slowly by paddleboat, or add some more paces and take a guided tour in a motor boat.

Jungle Trekking

To add to your Borneo adventure, you can go for jungle trekking at Bukit Bangkirai. There are various nature trails available. The trails take you into the heart of Borneo jungle. Some of the animals you may spot include macaques, red leaf monkeys, deer, lizards, snakes, and numerous insets and birds. The short routes of some 2 kms are family friendly.

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