Malayan Sun Bear

[Helarctos malayanus euryspilus]

G8pf1rphssmgulnwmfhx The Malayan Sun Bear is referred by local people as the "dog bear." The Malayan Sun Bears weight can range from 60 to 145 pounds, with males being slightly larger. They are short haired with deep black or brown-black fur with a horseshoe shaped marking on a chest of pale orange yellow.They have a curious gait, in that all the legs are turned inward while walking. It is the smallest of the bears, and one of the two species found south of the equator (the other is the spectacled bear of South America).

The sun bear is active at night, usually sleeping and sunbathing by day in a tree, 2 to 7 meters above the ground. Branches are broken and bent to form a nest and lookout post. Skillful climbers, they depend on their ability to get at their food. They are cautious, wary, and intelligent. Sometimes they cause a lot of damage to coconut, palm, and cocoa plantations. Usually shy and retiring, they do not hibernate.

Sun bears are listed on Appendix I of CITES. Habitat loss is their main threat to survival, as well as the pet trade, poaching for food, fur and the Asian medicinal trade.

Location: Bear & Tiger Exhibits

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Range
The range of the Malayan Sun Bear is China, Burma, Malaysia, Sumatra, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Borneo.
Habitat
The Malayan Sun Bear inhabits Lowland tropical forest.
Gestation
Gestation in Malayan Sun Bears is approximately 96 days.
Litter
Malayan Sun Bears can have a litter of 1 or 2 cubs.
Behavior
The Malayan Sun Bear is active at night, usually sleeping and sunbathing by day in a tree, 2 to 7 meters above the ground. Branches are broken and bent to form a nest and lookout post. Skillful climbers, they depend on their ability to get at their food. They are cautious, wary, and intelligent. Sometimes they cause a lot of damage to coconut, palm, and cocoa plantations. They have a curious gait, in that all the legs are turned inward while walking. Usually shy and retiring, they do not hibernate. They are fairly harmless to people. Malaysians consider them friendly and often tame them and keep them as pets. However, at maturity they can be very dangerous. In zoos, they often scratch stone after stone out of walls with their sharp claws.
Reproduction
Females can bear young at any time of the year. The newborns weigh about 11.5 oz. Malayan Sun Bears reproduce in zoos regularly. Captive bears display a peculiar behavior: they suck on one hind foot, producing a whimpering sound. The young remain with the mother until nearly full grown.
Wild Diet
Wild bees, insect larvae, termites, small rodents, parts of coconut palm.
Zoo Diet
Dog biscuits protein plus, fruits and vegetables (no meat)
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