Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sun Bear

True Wild Life | Sun Bear | This small species of bear known as the sun bear, is found in the tropical jungles of Malaysia and parts of Indonesia. In the Malay language, their name for the sun bear translates to honey bear, due to the golden yellow markings found on the sun bears chest. The sun bear is the smallest surviving species of bear with the average adult sun bear measuring around 1 meter tall! The sun bear, like other species of bear, has fairly poor sight and must therefore rely on its excellent sense of smell in order to hunt for food. The sun bear generally feeds on small reptiles, mammals and birds, eggs, young palm shoots and fruit.

The sun bear has no real natural predators, but have been known to be occasionally hunted by a stray tiger or a large reticulated python. The biggest hunter of the sun bear is the human, who have often killed the bears in fear of being hunted themselves. Today, the sun bear is an endangered species with very few individual bears left in the wild. This is thought to be due to poaching of the sun bear and constant destruction of the environment which the sun bear inhabits.

Unlike most other species of bear, the fur of the sun bear is short and sleek rather than being thick and long. Many believe that this adaptation is due to the fact that there are few mountainous regions within the sun bears natural habitat of Malaysia, meaning the sun bear has naturally adapted to living in such hot and tropical climates.

The sun bear, although small, has been known to be fairly aggressive when faced with human encounters. As with other bear species, the sun bear has enormous paws and long claws which aid the sun bear in digging, tree climbing and breaking open bees nests in order to get the honeycomb that lies inside.

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