Balikpapan Sun Bear Center Tour
In 2002, the Sun Bear was proposed as the mascot of Balikpapan, fuelled by the first research project on wild sun bears carried out in the field in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest, located without Balikpapan City boundaries. Since 2004, the City Government has collaborated with private donors and wildlife experts to develop the sun bear education center, the centerpiece of which is a 1.3 ha natural forest enclosure now housing 6 sun bears that can never be released into the wild. This is enclosure is widely recognized as one of the best of its kind in Asia, and large numbers of visitors (more than 50,000 in 2019), mostly domestic, come to see and learn all about this smallest of bear species.
In 2008 we had the cheerful opening of our impressive ‘Sun Bear Information Exhibit’, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Asia, followed by an new education exhibit focusing on ‘Domestic Animal Care versus Wildlife Not Suitable as Pets’, including an adoption house for sterilized [former stray] kittens. After that, a novel exhibit focusing on the rich ‘Endemic Flora and Fauna of Borneo’ was developed.
Several other exhibits focusing on important local conservation and environmental themes enrich the main wooden visitor hall [an impressive Kalimantan style lamin] to raise awareness focusing on the rampant ‘Illegal Wildlife Trade’, the unique and economically invaluable ‘Sungai Wain Protection Forest’, as well as the environmental issues at stake in the ‘Bay of Balikpapan’.
- Meet the sun bears at the sun bear enclosure area
- Learn more about sun bear and other endemic flora and fauna in their exhibit area
- Environmental education exhibit
- Picnic lunch
- Gift shops