|The sun bear gets its name from the creamy yellow
mark on its chest. Also known as the Malayan bear, it is the smallest of its
family and is know for being a lover of honey. The small, thick set bear
is called Biruang or Broeang by the people of Malaysia and is also sometimes
known as the honey bear. Unlike most other ears who are active during the
day, the sun bear in the sun in a temporary nests in the trees.
Habits: The adaptable sun bear lives in mountainous, lowlands, and subtropical areas of its range. It mainly inhabits forests and climbs trees. The sun bear is primarily nocturnal and spends the day sleeping in the tree in the sun. It bends or breaks the branches to form a nest 10 to 20 feet above the ground, giving it a good view of the forest.
The soles of the sun bears feet are long and hairless with sickle shaped claws. These adaptations help it to better grip the trunks of trees when climbing. In contrast, bears that stay on the ground have feet with hairy soles. The sun bear walks strangely because its long, clawed feet are turned inward, making it appear bowlegged as it walks. The sun bear does not hibernate (have a dormant period) like other bears probably because of the unvarying mild climate of its habitat. Still, it adapts to a variety of habitats. The sun bear turned in feet give it a bow legged appearance.
Food & Feeding: Although classed a carnivore the sun bear eats a wide variety of food, very little of which is meat. It climbs trees and rips out bees, nests with its sharp claws. It sticks it mobile snout and long, narrow tongue in the nest to scoop out the honey and grubs. The sun bear also eats fruit from treetops. It also dips it paws into termite nests, licking off the termites and grubs that stick to them. The sun bears only real meat comes from small rodents and birds.
Sunbear & Man: The Malaysian people consider the shy sun bear friendly often keeping the animal a a pet for children. Malaysia once listed the sun bear as big game for hunting, but now it is protected in many areas. Even so, some sun bears are sold into the pet trade. many are caught in snares set for wild pegs. Clearing of the sun bears forest habitats has caused the sun bear population to decline. Some once mistakenly thought that sun bears could not breed in captivity.
Breeding: The sun bears cautious nature makes it difficult to study its breeding habits in the wild. But it is known to be able to mate at any time of the year and is monogamous (mating with one partner that it stays with for the rest of its life). A litter usually has two 10 to 12 ounce cubs born on the ground in a secluded spot. The young remain with the mother for some time, learning hunting and feeding skills form her. Young sun bears are good nattered and playful, but older sun bears often become bad tempered and dangerous. A sunbear spends its days sleeping in the sun. It hunts at night.
Did you know:
Related Species: The bear family
has 7 species in 5 genera. The sun bear is the only species in its genus.
Features of the sun bear:
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