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Sun Bear

Sun Bear © Siew Te Wong
  • The sun bear is the smallest member of the bear family, dark black or brown in colour with a pale orange marking on its chest in the shape of a horseshoe.
  • Sun bears are omnivores feeding mainly on termites, ants, beetle larvae, bee larvae and honey as well as a large variety of fruit species.
  • Except for females with their offspring, sun bears are usually solitary.
  • They are active at periods during the day and night time, both on the ground and in tall trees.
  • Nests for sleeping are built in tall trees close to the trunk using small branches.
  • Sun bears are under threat as a result of the increasing habitat loss and hunting pressures.
  • There have been recent foot print sightings and several unidentified roars heard during nocturnal primate surveys around Danau Girang (carried out by Rachel Munds and Ridzwan Ali). These are both indicators that a sun bear is likely to be present in the area but this is yet to be confirmed with a sighting.
  • Siew Te Wong, a Malaysian biologist affiliated to University of Montana has been studying the ecology of Malayan sun bears in the rainforest of Danaum Valley in Sabah for the last 11 years. You can learn more about his work on the following link: http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/
  • The Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department and Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP www.leapspiral.org) are currently setting up a Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre (BSBCC) in Sepilok, near Sandakan, to rehabilitate sun bears.