This zoo insists its sun bears are ‘not humans in disguise’

Key Points
  • Hangzhou Zoo in eastern China has reassured visitors its sun bears are real, and not humans in costume.
  • Questions were raised after a video circulated online showing a bear standing on its hind legs.
  • In a statement, the zoo said those speculating “don’t understand” bears.
Hangzhou Zoo has reassured visitors its sun bears are real animals and not humans in disguise after questions were raised over a video circulating online.
The video shows a bear standing at the edge of its enclosure on its hind legs and moving its front legs.
Social media users speculated the bear could be a human in costume due to its body size and shape, and the way it was standing and moving.

The folds of fur were also pointed to as potential evidence of a costume.

The zoo released a statement from the perspective of the bear, named Angela.
“Some people think I stand like a person… It seems you don’t understand me very well,” the statement said.
“When it comes to bears, the first thing that comes to mind is a huge figure and astonishing power … but not all bears are behemoths and danger personified.

“We Malayan bears are petite, the smallest bear in the world.”

A sun bear in a tree

Sun bears are the smallest bears, and are a similar size to a large dog. Source: AAP / Perth Zoo / PR Image

In a video circulating online, a zoo staff member says it is a real animal.

“We are a state-owned zoo, not a private one. It is not a person.

“If you watch the video it is outdoor. The temperature reached approximately 40 degrees Celsius. If you put fur on, you’re not gonna make it.”