The claws of a Malayan sun bear are an integral part of what makes him or her a Malayan sun bear. Sun bears use these sickle-like claws for virtually everything, from climbing, digging, playing, to feeding. If these claws are taken away, this wrenches a part of the sun bear’s being away. Somebody forgot to tell Buddy though, as he makes the best of any situation and knows no different, despite the fact that his claws were savagely and brutally taken away from him.
In August 2017, Buddy was confiscated by the Indonesian government from a wildlife trader in Jakarta. Buddy was just a small young bear cub, but he had already been mutilated. All of his claws had been forcibly removed, one by one. The reason? It would have made him an easier potential pet for someone and thus, easier to sell at a high price. Buddy was taken to a government rescue facility in Jakarta and kept in a small barren cell. The decks were already stacked against him, orphaned at a young age and also without his claws – the tools he needed to help him survive.
His situation looked grim until in April 2018, the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) arranged for him, along with adult male orangutan Jono, to be flown to Central Kalimantan in Borneo and put under the auspices of the OFI Care Centre.
Bears are scent-oriented creatures. Buddy’s nose was slightly swollen upon arrival as he had constantly been rubbing up against his transport cage, taking great sniffs to try and work out what was going on. Following his arrival, Buddy was put into a temporary enclosure. Bursting with energy, this little bear ran around investigating his new surroundings. Bearing no grudges towards people, he allowed the caregivers at OFI to begin trying to get to know him.
During his first week at the Care Centre, Buddy was allowed to enter the forest, something of which he had so far been deprived. The cage door to his enclosure was opened. After a little hesitancy, Buddy slowly emerged from the enclosure. With his nose cocked to the ground, Buddy seemingly followed a variety of new smells and sensations with great concentration. Next it was time to practice climbing. Buddy suddenly shot up onto the top of his enclosure’s roof. Enjoying the view at this newfound height, Buddy showed no intention of moving. It took over an hour and a half before he was persuaded to climb back down!
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