Malayan Sun Bear

Helarctos malayanus

Small and nimble

The sun bear is the smallest of the eight bear species. Thanks to their light weight and long claws, sun bears are excellent climbers. This is a good thing, as they like to spend their days high up in the trees – snoozing, sunbathing, or searching for tasty fruits.


  • Origin

    Bangladesh, Northeast India, South China, and Southeast Asia to Malaysia and Sumatra

  • Habitat

    Lowland rainforests

  • Diet

    Insects and fruits

  • Status


  • Size

    1,40 m

  • Weight

    approx. 30 to 80 kg

  • Gestation period

    about 96 days

  • Achievable age

    approx. 30 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

No winter dreamers

Think all bears hibernate? Think again! Some species, including the sun bear, can find plenty of food all year round in their bountiful rainforest home, and therefore don’t need to resort to the energy-saving winter sleep.


Did you know?

The tongue of a sun bear can reach up to 25 cm in length –
perfect for licking honey out of wild bee nests.
Sun bears are hunted by poachers for their bile, used in traditional
Chinese medicine for its supposed healing properties.

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Today, 26. February
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