Sun bear, Malay bear, honey bear, dog bear
Despite being the smallest of all the bears, the sun bear is probably the most aggressive, and will attack without provocation. Relatively, they also have the largest canines of all the bears, although their diet is less carnivorous than some of their cousins.
Body length: 120-150cm, Weight: female 27-50kg, male 27-65kg. They are the smallest species of bear.
Sun bears have short black/dark brown water-repellent fur, with a yellow crescent on their chest. They have strong paws with naked soles and long sickle-shaped claws. They have flexible snouts and very long tongues, which are an adaptation for extracting termites from nests. Relatively, they have the largest canines of all the bear species. Canine teeth are specialised for tearing meat, but sun bears are not particularly carnivorous. They may use their sharp canines as weapons or as tools for tearing at trees to get at insects.
Sun bears live in south east Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sun bears inhabit lowland tropical rainforests.
Sun bears feed on fruits, berries, insects, termites, eggs and small vertebrates. They will readily climb trees, using their long tongue to raid beehives of honey.
Sun bears are the least known of all the bear species. They are thought to be solitary except for mothers with cubs.
They are not thought to hibernate due to the year-round availability of food items. They have an aggressive reputation and will attack without provocation. Sun bears are thought to be nocturnal, and they are excellent climbers.
According to the limited information available, it appears that the mating season is variable, and that sun bears may mate and give birth at any time of the year. There are typically 1-3 cubs in a litter.
Sun bears are classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN, and are listed on CITES: Appendix I. They suffer from habitat encroachment and poaching.