Sun Bear Assistant SB28 ~ Ape Malaysia

The programme is at the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) where you will need to get down and dirty taking care of the smallest bears in the world, working to clean their dens and creating environmental and food enrichment. There will be no direct contact with the animals. In addition to enriching the sun bears living condition, you will learn about sun bears in the stages of rehabilitation and the process of releasing them back into the wild. Working alongside local people will enable you to experience and understand our Malaysian culture. You will also have time off to explore the beautiful surroundings of Sepilok and nearby towns and wildlife sanctuaries

Programme Objectives

  • Improve conditions of sun bears in captivity and rehabilitation through creating environmental and food enrichment;
  • Work alongside keepers to raise the quality of current enrichment standards in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre;
  • Learn about sun bears in the stage of rehabilitation and process of releasing them back to the wild;
  • Understand and compare situation of captive/rehab sun bears and those with threatened habitats;
  • Raise awareness on responsible living and travelling among tourists, local community and students.

Note: Programmes are subject to change depending on community and/or BSBCC calendar.

Project Site

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, better known as BSBCC, is based approximately 19km from Sandakan town. It is located next to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and is also linked to existing forest trails and boardwalks.

The centre currently has 2 bear houses that are housing 28 bears as well as 1.14 hectares of natural forest enclosure where the bears can roam free during the day (and night). There is also an observation platform for visitors to spend time learning about the bears through personal observation and sharing of information by the staff of BSBCC.

Programme Details

Number of days
Programme Location(s)
Internal Flight Requirement
~ N/A ~

Expected Programme Activities

Wildlife Observation
Working With Animals
Tree Planting
Community Interaction
~ N/A ~
~ N/A ~

N/A = Not applicable. Y = definitely included unless impacted by weather / disasters / community calendar. M = may be included

Sun Bear Assistant Volunteer

Please Note:

Prices are subject to change according to exchange rate fluctuations.

All invoicing and payment to be conducted in Malaysian Ringgit

Placement reservation fee of RM600 per person per project applies.

Cancellation fees and late payment charges apply.

Single room option at MYR700 per person

Other Information

Minimum Pax:
Minimum Age:
Not required
Very Easy 1 2 3 4 5
6 7
8 9 10 Very Tough
Level of Supervision:
Fully supervised programme
Personal Insurance:
Copy of policy required prior to start of programme
Tuberculosis & Hepatitis. Copy of doctor's letter / vaccination record required prior to start of programme. Original to be sighted on 1st day of programme
Please check with medical practitioner on other required medication / vaccinations.

International Flight Destination and Departure Details



Internal Flight

Arrival Time
Depart Time
No internal flight
Best if before 1600 hours
Best if after 1100 hours






Arrival & Welcome D Arrival at Sandakan Airport. Welcome dinner & briefing.
Orientation B, MA Transfer to Project Site: BSBCC. Orientation, health and safety talk & tour of centre.
3 - 27 Project Days MA Working hours at BSBCC: 0800 hours - 1700 hours. 6 days off.
Depart- ure
Check out and transfer to Sandakan Airport.

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, MA = Meal Allowance


~ The Sandakan Airport is not an international airport. You will have to fly via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA/KLIA2) or Kota Kinabalu

International Airport to reach Sandakan Airport (SDK).

~ Airport code for Sandakan is in airline booking systems. ACCURATE flight details (flight number, airline, departure city, time of departure and arrival) are crucial to ensure pick up at the correct time.

~ Customs and Immigration coupled with the journey and/or traffic from Sandakan airport to the dormitory takes approximately 40 minutes, sometimes more.

~ Volunteers should have the emergency numbers [+60-(0)3-7724 2272 or +60-(0)19-899 4398] handy in case they face delays in the airport such as flight postponed or missed, lost luggage, quarantine etc.

~ Kindly take note of flight changes on the actual day of the volunteer arriving in Malaysia. It is crucial that we are informed of the change in flight time as early as possible to ensure correct pick up arrangement is made. Failure to do so will result in extra charges for the additional transfer that will be arranged for the second pick up time. Extra charges for these transfers will be chargeable to the volunteer.


Please be aware that programme and days are subject to change – this itinerary is meant as a guide only.

Note: Itinerary is subject to change without prior notice.

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, MA = Meal Allowance



This involves cleaning cages and feeding. You will rotate working with different sun bears depending on the needs of the bears. You may not work with sun bears on a daily basis. Some daily maintenance work such as general maintenance (eg: painting) may be included.


The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat. Volunteers will be involved in designing & preparing enrichment. The effectiveness of the enrichment items on the sun bear behaviour will then be observed.


You may be asked to design and work on small construction projects to improve the night dens / enclosures. This may include assisting in building new exhibits and extensions to improve the facilities, or improving existing exhibits by adding furniture / painting.


There is an education centre and library at BSBCC. Volunteers may be asked to talk to school children and visitors at the centre about sun bears. You may also be asked to prepare displays and update the blog or do data entry of the Bear Behaviour Record & the Weekly Record


Not all activities will be included on your itinerary. Changes to the activities will occur subject to weather conditions, school calender, community and project requirements. Activities not listed above may also be addedd if deemed suitable / necessary by the programme coordinator.


Paganakan Dii

Shared dormitory style 2 to a room. Shared warm water showers and toilets. Communal kitchen and basic cooking facilities. Washing machine available


Accommodation is subject to change without prior notice


Inclusions :

~ Conservation contribution to the project;

~ English-speaking programme facilitator;

~ 27 nights at designated accommodation;

~ All activities, materials, tools & equipment included in “Project Days”;

~ Meet & greet at Sandakan Airport (SDK), Malaysia;

~ Arrival transfer from Sandakan Airport to project accommodation;

~ Welcome dinner on arrival day in Sepilok;

~ Induction & orientation at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre;

~ Transfer from dormitory to project site accommodation;

~ Departure transfer to Sandakan Airport in Sabah, Malaysia;

~ Accommondation is shared throughout programme;

~ Meal allowance & selected meals for all Project Days as indicated on itinerary / self-catering with basic cooking facilities provided.

Not included :

~ Cancellation fees and late payment charges apply.

~ International and internal airfare, camera fees, visa application/fees, drinks, private transfers, meals and accommodation when travelling independently or on Off Days, insurance, personal incidentals and any item not stated in the list above.

One more thing:

~ Cancellation fees and late payment charges apply.

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