Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

    Helarctos malayanus
  • Conservation


  • Found In:

    South East Asia
  • Length:

  • Weight:


Meet our beautiful bear!

Adelaide Zoo’s male sun bear, Akbar was born in 1987. Akbar was taken illegally from the wild in Thailand when he was a cub and kept as a pet. He was rescued and donated to Adelaide Zoo by Taiping Zoo in Malaysia, arriving at Adelaide Zoo in November 1994. He’s a very sweet and gentle old guy who in his twilight years is starting to turn grey. He has an insatiable sweet-tooth loving soft fruit, honey and peanut butter.

The smallest of the eight bear species, the Malayan Sun Bear inhabits the dense tropical and subtropical rainforests of South East Asia.

Sun bears are expert climbers, using their long 7.5cm claws to dig into tree trunks. During feeding, the sun bear can extend its exceptionally long 20-25cm tongue into logs to extract insects and honey.

While there are currently no known reliable estimates of wild sun bear numbers, it’s known that their numbers are declining. The major threat to the Malayan Sun Bear is the illegal wildlife trade, where animals are trapped for bear meat in restaurants, traditional medicine or as exotic pets, and habitat destruction, for logging and conversion to agriculture.

Love sun bears? Join our of efforts to ensure sun bears can enjoy their rainforest home for generations to come! There are many ways you can help support these adorable animals! 

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction and connect people with nature.

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