Malayan Sun Bear, Burgers Zoo, Arnhem, Netherlands - 1159
A day at Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
The Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a bear found primarily in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. Its Malay and Indonesian name is Beruang Madu (Honey Bear).
The Sun Bear stands approximately 1.2 m in length, making it the smallest member in the bear family.
Males tend to be 10-45% larger than females; the former normally weigh between 30 and 60 kg, the latter between 20 and 40 kg. Despite its small size, the Sun Bear possesses a very long, slender tongue, ranging from 20 to 25 cm in length. The bear uses it to extract honey from beehives.
The diet of the Sun Bear varies widely and includes small vertebrates, such as lizards, birds, and other mammals, in addition to fruits, eggs, termites, the young tips of palm trees, nests of bees, honey, berries, sprouts, insects, roots, cocoa, and coconuts.
Being a primarily nocturnal creature, the Sun Bear tends to rest during the day on lower limbs not far above the ground. Because it spends so much time in trees, the Sun Bear can sometimes cause a good amount of damage to private property. It has been known to destroy coconut palms and cacao trees on plantations.