Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Sun Bear

Although it is the smallest bear species in the world the Sun Bear (Ursus malayanus also Helarctos malayanus) is Borneo's largest carnivore. However, unlike tigers which are absent in the wild from Borneo, it feeds mainly on small animals like rodents, birds and insects and their diet also consists of a large part of plant material including fruits and hearts of palms. It is also very fond of termites which it catches by tearing up their nest with its strong claws. 
Sun bears (called beruang in Malay, bawang or buang in Kadazan and Dusun, jugam or makup in Iban) are seldom seen by people as they are mainly nocturnal forest animals. And like many wild animals sun bears are threatened with extinction due to loss of habitat caused by human activities. My photo is taken at the Lokawi Wildlife Park near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. Although it is sad to see animals in captivity, zoos, I believe are necessary for the education of the public about the animals in our dwindling forests. 

Sun bears are found in Southeast Asia, including Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Sumatra.

1 comment:

DAF said...

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