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Malayan Sun Bear

Sun Bear

Animal's Behavior

The smallest of the bear species, Sun Bears have impressive claws and short, sleek fur. A long, thin tongue assists in harvesting honey from bee hives – a favorite Sun Bear activity, along with climbing. The Sun Bear relies heavily on its sense of smell, as its eyesight is thought to be poor.

Eating Habits

Sun Bears love termites and ants, but have been known to consume more than 100 species of insects and more than 50 different kinds of plants. Figs are a favorite Sun Bear treat. The bears will also eat lizards, turtles and eggs.


Southeast Asia tropical rainforests

Conservation Efforts

Sun Bears can be a nuisance for farmers. They are also captured for the pet trade. Poaching is another threat, as the Sun Bear fur and bile are ingredients in some traditional Chinese medicines.

Animal Facts

  • Sun Bears appear to be pigeon-toed due to characteristically inward-turning feet.
  • The distinctive marking on the Sun Bear chest is shaped like a horseshoe.
  • The Sun Bear has jaws strong enough to crack nuts.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Ursus malayanus


Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Ursidae

Place of Birth

Southeast Asia


4 feet tall, 44-88 lbs.


Dark brown with pale orange on the muzzle, around the eyes and on the chest


Up to 30 years

Conservation Status


Where to See

Audubon Zoo

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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