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MALAYAN SUN BEARS
Sun Bears get their name from the yellow-ish mark many have on their chests - that looks like the rising sun.
Sun bears are the smallest of the eight bear species.
Little is known about the social habits of sun bears or how many there are remaining in the wild.
Sun bears are primarily nocturnal, and spend much of the day sunbathing or resting. They are tree climbers and spend most of their time amongst the branches.
As protection from predators the sun bear has very loose skin around its neck. If grabbed from behind, the bear can wriggle its body inside its skin, far enough to turn around and bite back
They are also known as "honey bears". Their Malayan name,
basindo nan tenggil
, means "he who likes to sit high". Local peoples refer to it as the "dog bear" due to its small size.
The pigeon-toed gait signals that this animal lives in trees.
The paws of the sun bear are large with naked soles, possibly an adaptation for better tree climbing.
Wellington Zoo is the only Zoo in New Zealand that has sun bears, and was the first Zoo in Australasia to successfully breed sun bears in captivity.
The Malayan sun bears you'll see at Wellington Zoo are Sean and his daughter Sasa.
Sean was rescued from outside a restaurant in Cambodia by Free the Bears.
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