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During March 2020, it was an honour and a privilege for SSBT to be invited by Stay Wild to talk to the children at Lau Damak school. The children were very keen to get involved in discussion about the wildlife that lives and breathes right on their doorstep. With their district bordering the wildlife hotspot of Sumatra; the Gunung Leuser National Park they were very interested in learning about the Sun Bears and other wildlife that live there.

The Founder of SSBT presented the children with bi-lingual information brochures that explained the benefits of Sun Bears in their natural forests. We took along some prepared colouring pages, donated books, coloured pencils and laminated informative picture pages on wild animals of the world. The bi-lingual brochures could be taken home so that their parents can see what the children have learnt and we hope that both children and parents will be more inclined to want to help preserve this species.

We have been given feed-back since visiting the children that they are now keen to help this little known species. This gives us hope that we are on the right track.

During 2019, the SSBT had been alerted to the plight of a Durian farmer. He had reported that wild sun bears were taking his fallen fruit. The SSBT visited the farm and established that a sun bear had been on the property and had had left (faecal) evidence. The durian season is important to the local people as it makes up a large component of their annual ways to make a living. At times like this, a Sun Bear is at risk and very vulnerable being at the wrong side of human conflict.

We immediately gave the farmer some tools to make noises to scare the bears away from the safety of their hut and a reasonable amount of compensation while we prepared to give him a permanent solution. With funds that have been donated or raised by SSBT we were able to supply a solar powered electric fence. It was installed with help from Stay Wild who also worked with the farmer to clear the fence line.

SSBT visited the site after the durian season and were very pleased to hear that after the fence was installed, there were no durians taken by Sun Bears and he had a successful season.

Working with the local people is an important component of Conservation. The people and the bears share or use mutual habitat at times and we want to see this occurring in harmony. We will always endeavor to help create harmony between the people and the amazing Sun Bears

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Jo Jo campaign. A picture of a sun bear in a Zoo in Medan attracted a lot of negative attention. We would like to thank the management of Medan Zoo and the BKSDA for allowing us to work on the sun bear exhibit for a positive outcome. We had some great, talented volunteers; Michael and Lauren Spence, Stay Wild team Bukit and Triyadi, the guys from Sun bear sun screen and the Charlie Bucket and Co all helping Lesley Small from SSBT. Also thanks to Rudi from ISCP for facilitating this project. We hope that all of the generous donors are happy with what we achieved, We know that the bears liked what we did that included, hammocks, bed boards, fresh logs, foraging pits, a climbing structure and Aussie dog toys. We hope that all 5 bears get to experience the exhibit. All five bears each received new elevated bed boards, logs and Aussie dog balls in their dens also. Thank you again to the generous donors.

Saving Sun bears seminar

July 10, 2019

We are very grateful to everyone who attended our recent seminar at the Canada Bay Club. With our speakers; Lesley Small, Larry Vogelnest and Siew Te Wong everyone who was there now understands the sun bear more and the reasons why it needs to be saved in Sumatra. Thank you to everyone who not only attended, but everyone who donated prizes to help us raise our much needed start-up funds for our future rescue and conservation centre.



Thank you Pall Zillmann for putting on a great night in November 2018!! Paul raised over $1100 for our cause. It really will go towards us getting to our goal of Saving Sun Bears in Sumatra!! Thank you from all of us at SSBT and thanks for all of your friends support also .

Sun Bear Speed Trivia Brisbane
All donations and proceeds raised going towards the work of Sumatran Sun Bear Team, preventing and relieving the suffering of Sun Bears in Sumatra.

As well as trivia there will be games, live music, raffles and lots of fun, so bring the whole family along!

When: Saturday 10th November

Where: Hope St Cafe
170 Boundary St
West End QLD 4101

Time : 5 PM.

Tickets: No ticket needed – just pay on the day!
See here for more information

See you bear!


Thank you!! 


On the 24th November 2018, We are very pleased to announce that The National Zoo and Aquarium, Canberra raised over $6,700 with a Trivia night. This is our first fund raiser that has been held for us to help us achieve our goals to help the Sun Bears in Sumatra and get us closer to building a Conservation and Rescue Centre. Thank you to everyone involved, you all went to so much effort before and on the night. Thank you Caitlin Gilchrist for arranging everything that you did and worked with such a great team. Thank you also to the Canberra Labor Club Belconnen for donating the use of the venue, your venue and the staff were just amazing. Thank you also to everyone who donated prizes, worked on the night and who made everyone feel welcome. 



“Cantik” is a female Sun Bear who has found herself in a position she would never had imagined could happen to her. Through no fault of her own, while walking through the forest she stepped on a snare that was set for other species, possibly deer or wild pig. A snare is usually a wire lasso that is hidden on the ground and tied to a tree. Once the paw goes through it and the animal pulls to try and escape, the wire loop tightens. There is little chance of escape. “Cantik” is one of the lucky ones, where the local people found her in the forest in Ache, Sumatra and called for help. Sun Bears are fierce, strong and in “Cantiks’” case she would have been in pain and very frightened for her life. A difficult situation to try and rectify. It took a few days before a Wildlife Veterinarian could get to the scene to dart her with an anaesthetic and transfer her to a surgery at the University of Banda Aceh. Her paw was so badly damaged it had to be completely amputated. She has recovered well, but because she may now not survive in the forest she has been cared for in a holding facility.

We would like to see her in a natural environment where she can explore, try to climb, rest and dig where they will be safe. A place where she will see birds and insects and wandering monkeys. We have just the place to build such a centre where Sun Bears, just like “Cantik”, who have found themselves out of their natural homes, can come and call the SSBT their new home. If they can’t be returned to the forest, they can stay with us.

We hope that you can help us help “Cantik” and Sun Bears just like her.

Feeling inspired? Support our work today!

Thanks to nominations from our wonderful supporters, Sumatran Sun Bear Team (SSBT) was selected as a finalist to win $5,000 generously donated by the National Zoo & Aquarium.

Hearing that the winner would be the charity that had the most votes, our network of dedicated bear supporters jumped to action, sharing the post far and wide, asking family and friends to vote for SSBT.

We were honoured to be named alongside three other fantastic organisations, and were blown away by the level of passion and endorsement we received from people all over the world who believe in SSBT’s mission.

The race was very tight and although SSBT came in second place, we gained many more supporters and more people are aware of the work we are doing to save the Sumatran Sun Bear.

Thank you to the National Zoo & Aquarium and to everyone who voted for SSBT!

Feeling inspired? Support our work today!

Our founder Lesley was in Bukit Lawang for a week after winning the International Conference of Zoo Keepers (ICZ) Conservation award. Lesley gave a fantastic talk to the local people about the importance of the Sun Bear in the local eco system and our plans for the rescue and conservation centre. Lesley and the SSBT worked with Anders Alexander to produce posters for the local people to read in both English and Bahasa. We also produced 2,000 bilingual Educational flyers to be distributed to the people of the Village and the surrounding areas, thanks to Jon Dunn for working with Lesley on this.

It was great to see so much great feedback and that the local people are excited that they will be involved in the project towards the common goal of saving Sun Bears.

Warwick Taylor from Global Wildlife Constructions, travelled with Lesley  along with a local land surveyor, assessed the land and many discussions were had around what would be the best way to layout the space we have available.

Lesley also met up with Sun Bear expert Siew Te Wong, Veterinarian Dr. Arman, The owner of the land Sipke Verhage and one of our Sumatran team members Dewi.

It was a very productive time in many ways.

Feeling inspired? Support our work today!