These bears are also known as the Malayan Sun Bear, Dog Bear and Honey Bear. Little is known about these bears in the wild because they are very difficult to track and observe. This is why the are the least studied out of all the eight bear species. Sun Bears got their name because of the yellow shape on their chest.
The Sun Bear is the smallest type of Bear in the world! They can grow up to 120-150cm long and weigh up to 27-65kg. Their long, curved claws help them climb trees.
They live in some of South-east Asia's Tropical and Subtropical Rainforests.
Diet, Feeding and Importance
Sun Bears are omnivores (they eat plants & meat). Their diet consists of mainly of fruits, eggs, grubs, honey, grasses, larve and insects. But they will occasinally feed on rodents, small lizards and birds. Sun Bears tongue grow to 20-25cm long. They use their tongue to get food that are in holes or crevices. Their claws are 7.5cm long. These Bears don't hibernate becaus ethere is food avalable all years and also because of the climate. These Bears are very important because they disperse the seeds of many plant species.
Breeding and Caring For Young
A Sun Bear gestation is around 96 days. The Female will have 2 young. The cubs are born in a den or hollow tree. When they are first born they are blind, death, hairless and only weighing 325 grams. In two months time they will be able to walk. The cubs will stay with their mother untill they are around three years of age. In the wild the male dosn't care for the cubs.
The Sun Bears status is Vulnerable. One of their main threats is habitat destruction (a huge driver for this is oil palm plantations, agrculture, illegal logging coffee plantations and roads) and the illegal wildlife trade (getting trapped for meat, bear paw soap, becoming a pet and tadinal medicine).
Many Sun Bears have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Taronga Zoo has now made a new app that you can report animal products and more. Because of CITIES (The Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species Of Wild Fauna and Flora) the international trade of this bear is illegal scince 1979.
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