Sun Bear Sanctuary in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan


Sun Bear Sanctuary in Balikapan, East Kalimantan. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Balikpapan is the capital city of coal, oil and gas industry in Kalimatan. The economy is driven by these sectors not by tourism business. Meanwhile, I still found some interesting activity that I could do during my trip there last month. One of them is Sun Bear "Beruang Madu" Sanctuary that is located in 23rd Km of the main road from Balikpapan to Samarinda, the capital city of East Kalimatan province. 

Sun Bear (Helarctos Malayanus) or Honey Bear (Beruang Madu in Bahasa Indonesia) is one of endanger species. The population is decreasing since a lot of rain forest in Kalimantan are converted into palm oil plantations or coal mining sites. 


Entrance Gate of Sun Bear enclosure. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
You can visit this place for free. The conservation only provide donation box. You can donate with no minimum amount.
Visitor Observation. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
The observation deck was built from wood that is located outside the fence. Sun Bear Sanctuary is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day. But the best time to visit there is at 9 am and 3 pm because during that time the officer will feed the bears. 

Visitor Observation. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
I arrived there at 11 am and all bears were hiding inside forest conservation. Luckily after waiting couple minutes I saw two bears, one walking to feeding station and one was hanging on the tree.

Sun Bear at feeding point. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Sun bear is taking a nap on the tree. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
After saw the Sun Bears, we can go to wood building that provide information about bears from around the world. Types of bears (polar bears, panda, etc) and its habitat. 

Bears information centre. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
Bears information centre. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
It is good place for kids to get information about bears. All information is provided in Bahasa Indonesia and English. 

Deforestation history in Kalimantan from time to time. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
There are two "Lamin" house, East Kalimantan traditional house in this location. Inside the house there is souvenir store that sell bears t-shirt and book about bears (general information and cartoon). By purchasing the souvenir from here you also donate some of the profit to the conservation.

Lamin House, traditional house of East Kalimatan. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Souvenir store. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
There is interesting place that is called "House of Cat".  This house received some feral cat from anyone.  Visitor can adopt that cat and bring the cat to their home.


House of Cat. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Cats are taking a nap inside the cat house. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
Finally, my trip is over here. It is nice to know anything about bears and it make me to love endangered animal more. It is our responsibility to protect their life on earth. Good bye Sun Bears.


Sun Bear statue at the entrance gate. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014