What even is a sun bear?

Yes, the sun bear is a real bear.
By Mark Kaufman and Warren Shaw  on 
Is the Sun Bear Real?
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Folks, the sun bear is real!


The viral animal is a sun bear, Helarctos malayanus, that naturally lives in the warm tropical forests of Southeast Asia, though the species is found in zoos around the world, too. In a snippet of a video shot at the Hangzhou Zoo in China, one, with some imagination, might mistake the standing bear for a costumed park employee tolerating extreme summer heat inside a bear exhibit (which would be an absolutely terrible summer job). Rest assured, it's a bear, though the smallest bear in the world at about half the size of a black bear.

Topics Animals

Mashable Image
Mark Kaufman

Mark is an award-winning journalist and the science editor at Mashable. After communicating science as a ranger with the National Park Service, he began a reporting career after seeing the extraordinary value in educating the public about the happenings in earth sciences, space, biodiversity, health, and beyond. 

You can reach Mark at [email protected].


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