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Bornean Bear Pigs and Animals

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Southeast Asia Sun Bear

The Sun Bear (Latin name ‘Helarctos Malayanus’) is the smallest member of the bear family. Male Sun Bears are approximately 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weigh between 30 and 60 kg. They get their name from the crescent-shaped patch of yellow or white hair on their chests which is said to resemble the rising Sun.

Sun bears can be found in both highland and lowland areas, although they are primarily a forest dwelling species. They live in the wild in the subtropical regions of Southeast Asia, including the islands around Indonesia, South China and even India.

The Sun Bear is an omnivore that eats a varied diet. This diet includes small lizards, birds and mammals, as well as fruits and berries, eggs, roots and shoots and even coconuts. They also have a very long and slender tongue that they use to eat honey from beehives.

Sun bears do not hibernate like many other bears do. This means that they can reproduce all year round, although very little is known about their mating habits. The gestation period of a Sun Bear is around 96 days, although there have been recorded gestation periods of over twice this length.

Cubs are born completely blind and helpless, and weight between 300 and 400g on average. After a couple of months the cubs will be strong enough to forage and play near their Mother.  A female Sun Bear can product 1 or 2 cubs per year.

With a fierce reputation and a very dangerous set of teeth the Sun Bear has very few predators apart from humans, who will kill the bears for their skins or capture them to be kept as pets. They will occasionally be attacked or overpowered by tigers or large reticulated pythons, or even their larger cousins the Asiatic Black Bear.

The Sun Bear does have a useful means of defence; the very loose skin around its neck actually allows the bear to turn its body inside its skin far enough to be able to bite its attacker even when being grabbed.

Bearded Pig Whiskers

The bearded pig (Latin name ‘sus barbatus’) is a member of the pig family that has a striking tuft of whiskers on its snout, lending the species the very distinguishable name.

The bearded pig differs from the classic domestic pigs that are bred in the U.K. in a number of ways, most notably in their appearance. Apart from the unmistakable whiskery beards, the bearded pig is a very slim animal that stands on long thin legs with very thin, hoofed feet. It has a long snout with small ears behind its eyes and tusk-like warts on the end.

The pigs beard is made of a sprouting of yellowy white whiskers that grow beneath the eyes, along the length of the snout and around the sides of the pigs face. The bearded pig has the same hair covering the majority of its body, although this hair is much shorter and more spread than the snout hair that forms the beard. The colour of the bearded pigs hide can range from grey to dark brown.

The bearded pig lives in family groups that are native to the islands of South East Asia, including Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are omnivorous mammals and live in rainforests and mangrove forests.

Young bearded pigs are called piglets, shoats or bonhams. Young females can also be called gilts. As in most pig species, the male bearded pig is called a boar and the female is called a sow. A group of bearded pigs is termed as a herd, drove or mob.

Due to the environment in which the bearded pig lives, their main predators are pythons, tigers and leopards. They are also hunted for their meat by humans. The bearded pig is a shy creature, although during its annual migration it will become more adventurous. This is a prime time for its predators to hunt it.

The Bearded Pig

Sus barbatus, or the “Bearded Pig”, is a small-sized member of the pig family native to South East Asia. The bearded pig gets it name from the unmistakable tuft of fur on its snout which very closely resembles a beard.The bearded pig lives in rainforests and mangrove thickets across Borneo, Sumatra and the surrounding islands in Indonesia and the Eastern Philippines. They eat a diet of earthworms, fruits, roots, seedlings and other small morsels available in the rainforest, even including carrion.

The bearded pig is one of the most slender orders of the pig family, and this lightweight frame is supported by thin legs and hoofed feet. Bearded pigs vary in colour from dark brown to charcoal grey, and despite their hairy snouts they have very little hair on their hides.

The hairy whiskers that cover their snouts and give the pigs such an odd name are white or pale yellow in colour, and grow around the top of the snout and the sides of the pigs face. On the front of their snouts are two pairs of warts, although these can often be hidden from view by the pigs’ beards.

Once fully grown, the bearded pig can measure up to 165 cm (5.5 ft) in length and will stand between 70 cm and 85 cm (2.4 ft – 2.8 ft) from the ground. The average adult bearded pig will weigh around 150 kg.

The pigs live in family groups, sometimes consisting of up to 200 family members, and generally follow groups of rainforest primates, such as macaque monkeys or gibbons. The families of pigs will eat the discarded fruits picked from the higher reaches of the rainforest and left behind by the monkeys.

These families will embark on a mass migration once every year, and are the only member of the pig, or “suid”, family to do so. As many as 100 bearded pigs will travel together on the migration that will be lead by one of the more mature family members.

The bearded pig is not an endangered species, although certain subspecies such as sus barbatus ahoenobarbus (the Palawan bearded pig) and sus barbatus oi (the Western bearded pig) are classified as low-risk, near threatened subspecies.