Malayan Sun Bear

[Helarctos malayanus euryspilus]

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. The median life span is 25 years.

Location: Bear Exhibits



The range of the Malayan Sun Bear is China, Burma, Malaysia, Sumatra, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Borneo.


The Malayan Sun Bear inhabits Lowland tropical forest.

Conservation Status
Primary Threats
Human Wildlife Coexistence; deforestation, commercial hunting and Illegal Wildlife Trade.

Gestation in Malayan Sun Bears is approximately 96 days.


Malayan Sun Bears can have a litter of 1 or 2 cubs.


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.

Females can bear young at any time of the year. The newborns weigh about 11.5 oz.
Wild Diet

Wild bees, insect larvae, termites, small rodents, parts of coconut palm.

Zoo Diet



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