Bears have occupied a lot of our time lately. We had been keeping young sun bear Micah, brought to us from Siem Pang in Stung Treng Province in July 2018, inside our bear house as we felt it was unwise to release him into the large 1-hectare fenced area of forest, currently holding female Soheap and male Tela. We walk Micah twice each day, he has grown and is now in great condition. We usually take him through the forest to the nearby stream which he enjoys playing in.
On January 28th we radio collared Tela in preparation for his release. We allowed him to get used to the contraption around his neck and opened the enclosure door on February 23rd. Tela made his exit two days later on February 25th. WRS staff hand track him every day and we also receive satellite data on his whereabouts. Tela seems fine so far and we believe that once the rains return and there are more water sources elsewhere, he will travel further away from his release site. Although it may be the presence of wild sun bears that are restricting his range.
Following Tela’s release, Micah was integrated with female sun bear, Soheap. Initially he was very wary of her and to ensure his safety we shut him back inside the bear house each night. However, the two are now comfortable with each other, although Soheap, who is an extremely sweet-natured lady, seems more interested in Micah than he is of her!