Sun Bear author talk

Sarah Pye with her Saving Sun Bears book

By Annie Grossman, Annie's Books on Peregian

Animal conservation is a very controversial subject which incites passionate opinion and outrage as well as sacrifice and dedication – right around the globe. Sun bears were a little known animal until their awful treatment in south-east Asia was exposed. They are gorgeous creatures, and wildlife tourism has assisted in their conservation – but they are still a long way from safe. In her book Saving Sun Bears author Sarah Pye takes the reader on the journey to Malaysia to meet Dr Wong, a man who has dedicated his life to the preservation of these creatures in the wild, and also introduces the reader to some individual sun bears she has come to know.

Annie’s Books on Peregian will host a talk with Sarah Pye and feature a video link with Dr Wong at an author talk with wine and cheese on Wednesday 16 September at 6pm at Peregian Beach Community House. Cost $15. Bookings essential on 5448 2053 or email

Saving Sun Bears:

In Asia, adult sun bears are poached for body parts which are thought to have medicinal properties. Many orphaned cubs, with their small size and endearing features, are kept illegally as pets. Malaysian ecologist Dr Wong Siew Te, or ‘papa bear’, has dedicated his life to saving the world’s smallest bear from extinction. In this heartwarming story, Wong’s love of animals leads him to pursue an unconventional, sometimes dangerous career. It takes him from Malaysia to Taiwan, where he studies animal husbandry; to Montana, where he learns to trap grizzly bears; and on to Borneo to research bears in the dense rainforest. Wong struggles to raise funds to create a unique rescue centre for sun bears, and in 2017 he is acknowledged as a CNN Hero—proving one person can make a difference. Australian author Sarah Pye takes readers on a journey of discovery, introducing individual sun bears she has come to know: Natalie, who learns to survive without her mother; Bongkud, who is struck by lightning; Gutuk, who is too scared to go outside; and Debbie, who grabs her chance at freedom. Saving Sun Bears is Wong’s story—and theirs.