The reclusive sun bear, smallest member of the bear family, lives an insular life in the dense lowland forests of Southeast Asia.
Found from southern China to eastern India and as far south as Indonesia, sun bears, also called Malayan sun bears, take their name from the bib-shaped golden or white patch on their chest, which legend says represents the rising sun. They have a stocky, muscular build, small ears, and a short muzzle, which has earned them the nickname “dog bear.” Their sleek, black coat is short to avoid overheating in the tropical weather but thick and coarse to provide protection from twigs, branches, and rain.
Common Name: Sun Bear
Scientific Name: Helarctos malayanus
Average lifespan in the wild: Up to 25 years
Size: 4 to 5 ft long
Weight: 60 to 150 lbs
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