Experts suggest sun bears possess human-like qualities, challenging the notion of their uniqueness.

Posted by

SINGAPORE – When video footage of a sun bear in a zoo in eastern China became an Internet sensation, the question on everyone’s lips was: Is that a man pretending to be a bear?

The only other explanation was that the bear, like Paddington, had “manned up”. How else would it be standing and waving enthusiastically to the crowds or strolling around the enclosure?

Frenzied speculations in the online world tend to climax at the big reveal, and in this case, the world waited with bated breath for the Hangzhou zoo bear to be unmasked, and the sleek fur-coat costume to slip off. 

That day never came, nor will it ever. Because, yes, it was a real bear!

Just to be sure, we checked with an expert who knows a thing or two about sun bears.

Dr Wong Siew Te, wildlife biologist and founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah, said he has no doubt that the sun bear is real.

It turns out sun bears have a knack for walking upright, and that is actually part of their natural behaviour in the wild, he added.

It does not help that sun bears are among the least understood bears on the planet, Dr Wong said. “Sun bears are human-like, they are able to stand up straight and walk just like us by paddling.”

Source link