Protecting the world’s least-known bear
Posted by: WPZ Field Conservation staff
Southeast Asia is home to the world’s smallest bear species, the Malayan sun bear. These little bears face big threats throughout their range, especially from forest destruction, illegal hunting, and the capturing of small cubs for pets.
Luckily this unique bear has a champion and protector in Siew Te Wong, a Malaysian researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Montana. Woodland Park Zoo has helped support Wong and his field work in Sabah, Borneo for several years. As one of the very few people studying the sun bear, Wong has uncovered many fascinating aspects of sun bear ecology. Sadly, though, his research also brought him first-hand experience of the inhumane treatment of sun bears kept as pets.