Sun Bears are the smallest bears and weigh only around 65kg. They are the only bears that don’t hibernate and the only truly tropical bear, living in South East Asian rainforests.
Sun Bears are important in maintaining the health of the rainforests. They provide homes for other animals by making holes in trees and fallen logs with their claws and as fruit eaters they are critical seed dispersers for many plants.
Habitat loss due to large scale deforestation, logging and conversion of forest to agricultural land is a significant issue for Sun Bears. The creation of logging roads has also provided convenient access for poachers who capture them to be kept as pets, the mother bear being killed in order to obtain cubs young enough to tame. Sun bears also eat crops such as coconuts and oil palms which leads them into conflict with the farmers.
Bear Paw has long been a delicacy on Asian menus. Bears are now protected so they are no longer served in restaurants. However, wealthy businessmen are driving an illegal trade for these bears.
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