Sun Bear: The Smallest Bear In The World, Symbol Of Sunrise
On the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia, there is a type of bear which is the smallest bears among eight species of bears in the world, named Sun Bear –however, local people call them honey bear – . Sun bear is an endangered animal, and is an icon of Bengkulu province in Sumatera, also the mascot of Balikpapan city in Borneo.
The original sun bear habitat is in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia, usually they live on trees with a height of 2 to 7 m above the ground. They make nests like birds by using broken branches and arrange it in circle to create a home.
When humans start clearing forests for settlements or agricultural land, sun bears also adjust to living in agricultural areas, although sometimes considered a disturbance as they damage crops. Sadly, with the decrease of the forest, their population is also decreasing.
Their population distribution includes Indonesia (Borneo and Sumatera), South China, the Malaya peninsula, Indochina, Burma. Since they live in the tropics, this type of bear does not need to hibernate in winter like other types of bears that live in the four seasons regions. It is said that once sun bears were scattered widely in Southeast Asia, but since their habitat is diminishing, today their existence can only be found in certain areas.
They get nickname as the smallest bear not without reason. The average weight of sun bear is only between 50 to 65 kg, different from other types of bears that reach hundreds of kg, even the largest brown bear ever recorded reached 600 kg. While their body length is around 1.40 m with a back height of about 70 cm.
Sun bears normally have shiny dark colors of fur such as black or dark brown. Their eyes are also dark, but some are blue. There is one characteristic of sun bear that makes it striking: the yellow or orange circle under their neck which is believed to be the symbol of the sunrise, which is why they are called sun bears.
Once your visit at Bali Safari Marine Park, we also can see sun bear on our safari journey. prepare your camera for photo shoot.
Sun bear’s favorite food is honey, that’s why locals call it a honey bear. But actually these bears are omnivorous animals that eat whatever they can find in the forest, ranging from fruits, leaves, insects, birds and other small animals.
Uniquely, when they consume fruits, the seeds are usually swallowed wholefully, then come out again when they defecate, and these seeds then grow. It means, sun bear has an important role in the spread of fruit plants such as durian, cempedak, lahung, and other types of fruit.