The Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Training programme

Photo credit: Ak Muhd Nur Azmi bin Pg Hj Safri, Hakeem Julaihi, Joremy Toni, and Salwa Khalid.

The opening ceremony of The Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Training programme was held at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation & Advancement (ILIA) ground floor lecture theatre on 25th July 2016. The ceremony was graced by: His Excellency Mr Craig Allen, Ambassador of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam; Kai Williams, executive director of International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC); UBD Senior Management and Principal Officers; Liaw Lin Ji, founder and president of Brunei Biodiversity & Natural History Society (BruWILD); and Tuan Hj Faisal, Head of Wildlife Division.

The course was co-organised by both BruWILD and the IWRC, and was funded by The Embassy of the United States, Brunei. Additional support was also provided by the Wildlife Division (Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism), Universiti Brunei Darussalam and International School Brunei (ISB).

The five day intensive animal care course ran from the 25th to the 29th of July 2016, and was delivered by Dr. Kelli Knight and Mr. Lloyd Brown, with guest speaker Mr. Curt W. LeVan giving an additional lecture on Wildlife Rehabilitation in Shenandoah Valley. Topics covered ranged from basic wildlife rehabilitation methods and housing, to more advanced topics such as dealing with zoonotic diseases and parasites.

Potential disaster scenarios and the importance of mitigation plans were also covered during the five day period. The closing ceremony was held on the 29th of July, where participants were awarded their IWRC certifications for Wildlife Rehabilitation. Despite the course being officially closed, all parties involved paid a visit to the Sinaut Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on 30th July in order to put what they had learnt to the test. The visit was relatively short, but many ideas and improvements were shared between the participants, the staff of the Sinaut centre, BruWILD, and the IWRC consultants.

BruWILD is a local NGO dealing with all conservation issues regarding flora and fauna in Brunei Darussalam. They have collaborated with UBD on multiple projects and are part of the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research’s (IBER) “Friends of Belalong” initiative, which aims to raise the awareness, appreciation, and responsibility of stakeholders and the local community towards the natural environment. UBD is grateful for the contributions made by BruWILD and for their continued support.

From volunteering for field excursions in UBD’s biodiversity and environmental sciences research, to the continued efforts to prioritize the involvement of both the local communities and school children in projects which stress the importance of conservation and sustainable living in Brunei, UBD is proud to witness so many of its alumnus applying themselves via BruWILD. To that end, the Department of Environment and Life Sciences (ELS) and IBER will always be ready to mentor and extend their assistance to BruWILD for the continued expansion of their conservation-related initiatives.

The Universiti of Brunei Darussalam has strong expertise in biodiversity research with many world renowned partners from many top universities worldwide. We always welcome and encourage potential research collaborations.

Participants and guests of honour during opening ceremony.

Kelli and Lloyd describing the process of identifying parasites under the microscope.

BruWild participants observing specimen samples under the microscope.

The Wildlife Division and International School Brunei participants working together to create a mock limb casting.

Curt supervises two participants as they attempt to create an avian body bandage.

The participants posing with their hard-earned certificates.

The participants receive feedback from the IWRC consultants on the Sinaut Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.