Sun Bear Facts | Borneo Wildlife Guide
Physical CharacteristicsThe sun bear (
HabitatTheir range stretches across the lowland tropical rainforests of eastern India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, West Malaysia, southwestern China and the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
Due to the warm climate and year-round food supply, sun bears do not hibernate. Agile climbers, they spend the daylight hours in trees, sunbathing and sleeping.
Feeding HabitsSun bears are nocturnal, using their keen sense of smell to forage for termites, beetles, earthworms, and bees and ripping open trees and insect nests with their sharp claws. Sun bears use their exceedingly long tongues to extract honey from hives, and much of their diet consists of fruit such as figs. They are opportunistic feeders, eating roots, eggs, birds, rodents
ReproductionNot much is known about the breeding rituals of these bears, but studies have found that pairings may be monogamous. The sow typically births one or two cubs, though periodically three young are born. The blind, hairless newborns, weighing less than 1 pound, are dependent on their mother until they are full grown. Cubs are weaned after 4 months but stay with their mother until reaching sexual maturity at 3 years old.
ConservationDeforestation is rapidly displacing sun bears from their habitat, and encroaching farmers often kill bears for feeding on the cash crops that have replaced their forest homes. Poachers hunt bears for their fur or to harvest bile from their gallbladders for use in traditional remedies, though there is no proven medicinal effect. Mothers are often killed, their cubs
Header Credit: Brad Josephs