Sun Bears Are the Extremely Rare Animal Currently Causing Uproar on Social Media. We Found 1 Living in the US.
You have heard of Florida man, now meet the Florida bear.
The whole world's been worked up over a video of a sun bear at a Chinese zoo. Many have said the animal, which often stands upright, looks like a human in a "bad" bear suit.
Sun bears are named for the sun-like marking found around their necks.
They "are the smallest of all the bear species," zoo keeper Amanda Powers tells Inside Edition. Powers works at the ZooTampa in Florida, which Kasey the sun bear calls home.
"Sun bears are generally solitary and are the smallest of the bear species weighing up to 150 pounds," the zoo wrote on Facebook in 2020 after Kacey made his public debut. "Found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, these species are listed as vulnerable due to habitat destruction and poaching. Be sure to stop by his habitat in Asia and give him a warm welcome!"
Kasey is 22 years old. He is one of just 2,000 sun bears in the entire world, making the species extremely rare.
Like the sun bear that has caught the attention of the internet at large, Kasey can be found standing on his hind legs. "They can certainly stand on the those back legs and Kasey does do that,” Powers says.
The sun bear from the viral video in the Chinese zoo waves and claps. Those are tricks that bear was likely taught, Powers says.
"As far as waving and clapping, that is not something that he normally does," she says.
Sun bears have a wrinkled backside, adding fuel to the conspiracy theorists' fire that the animals seen in videos are actually people in ill-fitting costumes. "We don't body shame our sun bears at the zoo. However, they do tend to have saggy-looking behinds. It’s totally normal for them they have a very muscular core and then their extremities are not quite as muscular. We kind of joke that he has dad bod sometimes.”
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