Orphaned sun bears have little to no hope of survival without their parents, so when baby Kala’s mother was killed by poachers, her fate was sealed. That is until she was brought to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Malaysia. At the center, rescuers work to rehabilitate the bears so that they can be released into the wild. The organization rescues many cubs, as mother sun bears are often killed so that their little ones can be sold as pets or forced into the  bear bile industry. Thankfully for Kala, her rescuers are teaching her all the life lessons bears need to survive in the wild, where they hope she will return.

When Kala first arrived at BSBCC, she was just six and a half pounds.

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Emaciated, dehydrated, and malnourished,  the team stocked up on lots of food to get her in tip-top shape.

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She has been in their care for over a year now and is learning all she needs to know to thrive in the wild!

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Her rescuers even act as “mother bear,” teaching her how to climb!

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She got the hang of it pretty quickly. 

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A good nap in a basket is needed after all that climbing!

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 Just kidding … playtime!

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The rescue staff said that Kala is making good progress and gaining confidence.

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A year later, she now weighs 51 pounds and loves to show off her strength climbing around her pen!

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Kala is extremely playful and relishes in any new toy, including puzzle feeders, fire hose bags, fire hose pockets filled with peanut butter, green leaves, logs, and hidden treats in her enclosure that encourage her to forage, her caretakers said.

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Kala is on her way to an incredible new life thanks to this amazing team!

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Thanks to her incredible rescuers, beautiful Kala is strong, happy, and ready to take on the world. Rescuers said that the next step is to introduce Kala to other bears her same age so that she can learn to develop relationships. To learn more about Kala and all of the bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, click here.

All image source: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre