Sun Bears are omnivorous eating fruits, berries, grasses, insects and even eggs and chicks found in a bird’s nest. With 7.5cm long claws they are skilled climbers ripping bark from trees where they use their 25cm long tongue to lick up insects and wild honey from tree hollows. Food is available all year round so unlike other bears; the Sun Bear doesn’t need to hibernate in winter.
Asia is home to five bear species including Sun Bear, Asiatic Black (or Moon) Bear, Sloth Bear, Brown Bear and Giant Panda. All Asian bears are in decline due largely to habitat destruction and the commercial trade in bears and their parts. Sun Bears sparsely populate dense tropical and subtropical rainforests in all elevations of Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Births are non-seasonal and the gestation period is around 95 days. One or two cubs are born blind, deaf (hearing is gained within six weeks) and hairless in a secluded shelter on the ground weighing around 325 grams each. It takes two months before cubs can walk and they stay with their mother until maturity at about 3 years of age. The male does not participate in the rearing of cubs in the wild.
The small size and outwardly cautious nature of this Sun Bears hide the fact that they can be extremely fast and powerful. If threatened a Sun Bear will stand up on their hind legs and can inflict severe wounds with their long and powerful claws and sharp teeth.