The Jakarta Post
Two sun bears recently placed under quarantine at the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, escaped from their cages on Wednesday afternoon.
WRC manager Tarko Sudiarno said the two bears managed to escape their enclosures because a keeper forgot to lock their cages after feeding them.
A security officer saw one of the bears, 4-year-old Vegan, roaming the complex at around 6 p.m., he said. Workers of the rescue center immediately caught and returned the bear to its cage.
The other bear, 8-year-old Bedu, managed to climb over a fence surrounding the rescue center.
A joint search unit comprising WRC officers and local police and military personnel was promptly deployed to find the missing animal. Three hours later, the search team found Bedu milling about in a garden owned by a local resident.
“We have caught them,” Tarko told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “We finally managed to capture it with a webbing and then had it sedated.”
Sun bears, also known as honey bears, are a protected species in Indonesia. Bedu and Vegan were rescued from an illegal online trader several years ago and are due to be returned to their natural habitat in Kalimantan.
WRC serves as a conservation center for a variety of wildlife, including those saved from illegal trade. The rescue center is currently home to around 160 animals, including orangutans and crocodiles.
Tarko said the rescue center would conduct an internal evaluation of the incident.
“However, we wouldn’t impose any sanction on the keeper [responsible for the incident] considering their extraordinary dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing fasting month,” he said. (rfa)