SUN BEAR/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: A small forest bear with a South–East Asian distribution, the Sun Bear is present at the western edge of its range only in a few pockets in north– east India. It can be distinguished from the other two Indian black bears by its small size, short black coat, a U-shaped mark on the chest, more protruding lips and bowed legs. The ‘U’ mark can range from off-white to cream to yellow to dark orange and, in many cases, is joined at the top, forming a large circle of colour around a black centre. In some individuals, it trails at the bottom end up to its forelegs. The muzzle is grey to cream and the colour extends onto the face above the eyes, almost making it look like a mask.With its small, stocky frame, it looks almost like a large dog and is called Dog Bear in parts of its range. It has a very long tongue (25 cm) that is used to lick out grubs from tree holes and honey from hives. It has long claws that are horn-coloured to white.

BEHAVIOUR: The most arboreal bear, it makes rough nests of bent branches in trees to sleep in. It uses its long claws for digging and tearing up bark, and also thrusts its arms into termite mounds and licks the insects off its paws.

DISTRIBUTION: Known from patchy sightings and camera-trap photos in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur.

HABITAT: Subtropical hardwood forests.

 Size: 100–150 cm

IUCN Status: Data Deficient


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