STB Launches “Enchanting Sabah Live” Virtual Sessions with Solar Bear Conservation Center
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) kicked off their “Enchanting Sabah Live” series with the first live virtual session featuring the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center (BSBCC) onsite Tuesday July 13th.
The series, aimed at promoting various tourist attractions across Sabah and led by local industry experts, is scheduled every Tuesday through webinar sessions through their social media platforms (on Instagram and Facebook pages).
BSBCC Founder Dr Wong Siew Te took viewers online for a 1-hour virtual tour, talking about the history of the species while introducing bear food.
He also answered questions about the center – located at Sepilok in Sandakan – and sun bear care that were posed in the comments section.
When contacted, Wong explained that the center has in fact been offering virtual tours since May of last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult to accommodate visitors, especially international tourists.
âThe center was closed when we entered the movement control order in mid-March last year, but reopened in June 2020, only to then close it again after about two months.
âSo offering the RM40 virtual tour is not only to help generate income for the ailing center, but also to educate the public on solar bear conservation as we race against time to save the wild species, âhe said.
He admitted that the virtual tour was more difficult to promote and had not had the expected impact, and that the time slots (10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily) can be difficult for some Western countries like the United Kingdom (UK). United) due to different time zones.
âOn average we run 10 virtual tours per month, but ideally we would like to reach the maximum of 60 virtual tours per month, as my team can do these tours as well, besides myself,â he said. at The Star.
Currently, the center is home to 44 solar bears; 43 who were rescued and a female cub who was born in captivity on May 20.