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Bornean Bear Pigs and Animals

Flower

The secretive Sun Bear

The Sun Bear is a secretive and reclusive bear that lives in the lowland forest areas of Southeast Asia. They are also known as the Malayan Sun Bear and get their name from a bib-shaped patch of golden hair on their chests that looks like the rising Sun.

Sun bears are the smallest species of bear. They typically grow to about half the size of the American Black Bear with the male of the species growing slightly larger than the female. They can weigh up to 150 pounds. Their stature and relatively light weight suit their lifestyle, which involves moving through trees to sleep and eat.

They have a stocky build with a short muzzle and very small ears. They have a short black coat to help maintain a cooler temperature in their warm habitat, but their coat is coarse and thick enough to protect the bear from twigs and branches. The Sun Bears appearance has earned it the nickname “Dog Bear”.

Despite their name, Sun Bears are nocturnal animals. They move through the forest during the night, foraging for berries and roots or hunting small invertebrates such as birds, lizards and rodents. They are not hindered by the darkness since they are practically blind. Instead they rely on a very good sense of smell to track down their meals.

Sun Bears are very reclusive creatures, which combined with their remote habitat means that little is known about their lifestyles. The bears are often spotted in pairs however, which leads some naturalists to believe they are monogamous animals.

Female Sun Bears, known as “sows”  give birth to 1 or 2 cubs at a time in a nest they build on the ground. These cubs are born completely blind and without any coat. The cubs can move for themselves after 1 or 2 months and are weaned by four months, although they will stay with their mother for 2 years or longer.

The Sun Bear is an endangered species due to the loss of its natural habitat and being hunted by humans, either for their fur, because they are destroying crops, or to raise the bear cubs as domestic pets.

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