Rare sun bear cub arrives, ‘pawsitively’ brightening the day at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo

Picture of a sun bear at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo courtesy of Prasit Tangpraser.

In a ‘bear-y’ rare occurrence, a one-month-old sun bear, a species on the brink of extinction and under protection, has been joyfully welcomed at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo

Zoo director, Thanachon Khensing, shared the news of the cub’s arrival today, October 5, stating that the young bear is robust and in good health. Its parents, both sun bears aged 10 years, welcomed their new offspring on August 24.

Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, often referred to as Korat Zoo, currently houses seven sun bears. The group is composed of three males, three females, and the newborn, whose sex remains unidentified.

Thanachon revealed that the zoo had prepared a report cataloguing its research and achievements in sun bear breeding.

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The dossier will represent the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Zoos and Aquarium Association (SEAZA) Conference. The event is scheduled to commence on November 5 and conclude on November 8, in Taiping, Malaysia.

Sun bears, belonging to the Ursidae family, are a critical cog in the wheel of conservation efforts. They call the tropical forests of Southeast Asia home and stand close to 70 centimetres tall at the shoulder. Weighing anywhere between 25 and 65 kilogrammes, these sturdy mammals are recognized by their large paws, sharply curved claws, round ears, and short snout.

Their habitat extends to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, including regions from northeastern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, reaching as far as southern Yunnan province in China. Sun bears can also be spotted on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

In related sun bear news in August, a Chinese zoo categorically denied its sun bears were humans dressed in bear suits. Hangzhou Zoo found itself embroiled in controversy as speculations on social media alleged that its sun bears may not be genuine creatures but humans in bear suits.

The uproar erupted when images of one of the zoo’s sun bears, a species native to Southeast Asia, was captured on camera standing upright in its enclosure surfaced, prompting doubts online about its authenticity. Read more about the story HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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