Sarawak, Murum – December 12, 2011 – Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the state’s electricity provider have shown their softer side and reaffirmed their commitment to nature and the environment when they adopted an orphaned Sun Bear.

This story started when a group of native hunters brought the Malaysian Sun Bear they had killed in the forest, to the Murum Dam construction site. The dead bear was presented to contractors from the Three Gorges Development Company Malaysia Sdn Bhd (TGDCM) working at the site in the hopes the hunters could get some money. The contractors and the SEB staff were taken aback when they found a baby bear clinging to its mother’s lifeless body.

Paul Si, SEB’s Project Director for Murum said, “SEB & TGDCM talked to the hunters and explained to them that we would not accept such animals for food or for any other purpose. We also spoke to them about wildlife and environmental conservation, something that we at SEB enforces strictly and something we take very seriously”.

“We wanted these hunters to know that SEB & TGDCM is committed to protecting the wildlife and the flora and fauna around our sites.  Our hope was that the message would be absorbed by these hunters and also spread to other native hunters as well. Our next challenge was to decide what to do now with this baby bear as it had no hope of survival in the wild. Over the next few months, the bear was cared for by the staff onsite who nurtured it, fed it and kept it safe until it was strong enough to have a fighting chance for survival.”

When a delegation of senior SEB staff visited the dam site in early September, they decided that the bear would have a better quality to life if it were living in a zoo that was more familiar with its needs and health requirements. So Paul and his team were entrusted with the task of finding a new home for the Sun Bear. Eventually, Taman Tumbina in Bintulu stepped forward to take-in the orphan, however the challenge then became how to get the bear to Bintulu?

The Murum team worked closely with SEB’s Corporate Social Responsibility department to come up with a solution. When Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, CEO for SEB heard the story, he gave his full support. “This may seem like a very small initiative by a company developing billion dollar projects,” said Torstein. “Nevertheless, we need to play our part in ensuring that vulnerable species are protected, so instructions were given to transport the bear to Bintulu, never mind the costs.”
The result, the orphaned bear is now in Taman Tumbina in Bintulu, which already cares for a number of Sun Bears. SEB has adopted the bear and pays for the cost of its care and maintenance. We are happy that she is now making friends in Taman Tumbina where now she has a chance to one day have a family of her own.