Malayan Sun Bear

Malayan Sun Bear

These highly arboreal bears have exceptionally long claws and tongues to help them forage for honey, insects, and other small creatures inside logs. The name “sun bear” comes from the distinctive white patch of fur on their chests, and every individual sun bear has a different patch. Commercial production of palm oil, as well as heavy poaching pressure for traditional medicines, are significant threats to this species.

Helarctos malayanus

Omnivore

Southeast Asia

Forests

Sun bears spend their days alternately sleeping or roaming in constant search for food. At any given time on warm-weather days, you may see either of these activities. When foraging, they tirelessly explore every nook and cranny available. To encourage these natural behaviors, their habitat includes logs and other objects for them to explore and tear apart. As part of our sun bear enrichment program, keepers often hide food in logs or puzzle feeders. Be sure to look upwards, as these bears can often be seen napping at the top of their climbing structures.

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