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About Bears

Sun Bear

Sun Bears are omnivorous mammals.

Sun Bear Classification:

Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: Malayanus

Other Names: Dog Bear, Malay Bear, Ape Man, Malayan Sun bears, and Honey Bear

Sub-Species: There are two sub-species of sun bears they include:

Sun Bear - Helarctos malayanus malayanus
Borneo Sun Bear - Helarctos malayanus euryspilus

Size: The sun bear is the smallest of the world's eight bear species. Sun bears weigh 60 to 150 lbs, and are 4-5 feet tall. Males are typically 10-20% larger than their female counterparts.

Habitat: Sun bears inhabit Southeast Asia. Sun bears are found in the tropical forests of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo in Asia.

Diet: Sun bears exist on a diet consisting mostly of termites, birds, small mammals, beetle larvae, bee larvae, honey, and a large variety of fruits.

Senses: Sun Bears have good hearing.

Description: Sun bears have a stocky muscular build, with small ears and a protruding short snout. Sun bears have a short black coat, with a crescent shaped patch of white or yellowish fur on their chest and lighter colored fur on their muzzle and snout. The thick short, dense coat repels the rain, mud, and other debris. Their feet are turned inward. Sun bears have long sharp curved claws that can be up to four inches long, that they use for climbing. Sun bears have an extremely long tongue that they use to extract honey from hives and insects from trees.

Behavior: Sun bears are arboreal and spend a fair amount of times in trees.

Sun Bear
Sun Bear

Conservation Classification: Vulnerable / Critical Risk / Endangered

Sun Bear Picture

Sun Bear Photo

Gestation: Sun bears carry their young for 95 to 100 days.

Birth: Sun bears give birth to litters of 1 to 3 cubs at a time. The sun bear cubs weigh 7 to 12 ounces at birth.

Did You Know?

Sun bears are exceptionally aggressive and will attack without cause.

Cubs: Newly born cubs are blind, hairless and totally dependent on their mother for survival. Young sun bears remain with their mothers until they are approximately 2.5 years old.

Sexual Maturity: Female sun bears reach sexual maturity around the age of 3, while males mature a little later around the age of 4.

Life Span: Sun bears live up to 25 years in captivity. The dwindling numbers of sun bears are attributed to hunting of nuisance bears, that destroy crops and poaching driven by market demand for their fur and for their bile, which is used in Chinese medicine.

Social Structure: Sun bears are solitary creatures, with the exception of when they mate and when they have young.

Did You Know?

The sun bear does not hibernate.

Athleticism: Sun bears are skilled and agile climbers. While small they are powerfully built and can behave aggressively.

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