Sun Bear Facts

The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), also known as the honey bear, is the smallest of the world's eight bear species, weighing only 30 - 60 kg and standing about 1.2-1.5m in length.

Its name is derived from the orange, yellow or white coloured crescent on its chest.

Sun bears are omnivores and feed primarily on termites, ants, larvae, honey and a large variety of fruits. They are well adapted for their diet. Their long tongue is efficient in removing honey and invertebrates from tree crevices.

They are proficient climbers and have strong claws and jaws that are adept at ripping apart logs.

The sun bear is found primarily in the tropical rainforest of South East Asia, as far west as Bangladesh and India and as far east as Borneo and Sumatra.

Reliable estimates of the remaining population in the wild are lacking. However it is known that numbers are rapidly falling. The IUCN classifies the sun bear as vulnerable, making it the sixth bear species threatened with extinction.

BOS Sun Bear Sanctuary

Threat to Sun Bears

Photos: Karen Stenner