Renowned wildlife biologist and USC Honorary Doctor Wong Siew Te has been recognised by global television network CNN for his tireless work to protect the endangered South-East Asian sun bear.
The founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah, Malaysia, was recently featured by CNN Heroes – a highly regarded multimedia series that features everyday people who are working to improve the world.
It highlighted Mr Wong’s work in running the world’s only dedicated sun bear conservation centre to rehabilitate orphaned and abused bears.
Mr Wong received his Honorary Doctorate at a USC graduation ceremony late last year, when he was also praised for providing invaluable internships and work-integrated learning opportunities for dozens of USC students at his centre in Malaysia.
USC International’s Associate Director of Conservation Design Kevin Todd said being named a CNN Hero was a fitting tribute for Mr Wong, who has helped ensure the survival of the sun bear.
“He has been a pioneer in animal conservation not just in Malaysia, but all around south-east Asia,” he said. “He’s incredible passionate and has a power to move people and get them motivated about this issue.
“I’ve seen first hand how my Design students have benefitted from engaging in practical work placements helping design signage and web pages for the centre, and we’ve also sent Animal Ecology, Public Relations, Events and research students there.
“We’re really proud of the partnership between the conservation centre and USC, and it’s fantastic to be working with a man who is obviously highly regarded internationally.”
Last year, Mr Wong and USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill signed an agreement to enable more USC students to undertake work-integrated learning placements in Sabah for at least another three years.
Mr Wong working with a sun bear at his centre in Malaysia