Sun Bear

Baby Sun Bear Born to Parents Rescued From Illegal Trade

UK’s first baby sun bear named Kyra (22)

A rare baby Sun Bear delighted conservationists when she was born at Chester Zoo in June to parents who were rescued from illegal wildlife traders in Cambodia. 

When they were just cubs themselves, mom Milli and dad Toni were taken from the Cambodian forest by poachers and were mistreated while kept as pets.

UK’s first baby sun bear named Kyra (16)
UK’s first baby sun bear named Kyra (16)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo



After being discovered in very poor condition and nursed back to health by conservationists working for the Free The Bears organization in Cambodia, the duo was transferred to the United Kingdom, first to the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent and then to Chester Zoo to complete their recovery.

Now, despite their troubled start to life, Milli and Toni are parents of a healthy baby girl and zoo staff say the trio is doing well. Keepers chose the name Kyra, which means ‘sun goddess,’ for the cub.

Sun Bears are the smallest of the world’s eight species of Bear and are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Their demise is a result of widespread habitat loss to make way for palm oil plantations, human-wildlife conflict, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade.

Sun Bears are named for the yellow or orange crescent marking on their chest, which legend says resembles the rising or setting sun. The species is also known as the Honey Bear due to its love for honey, which it extracts from hives with its long tongue.  They also feed on termites and ants, beetle larvae, bee larvae, honey and a large variety of fruit species, especially figs.

See more photos of Kyra below.

Continue reading "Baby Sun Bear Born to Parents Rescued From Illegal Trade" »


Little Sun Bear in Singapore

The oldest – and possibly ‘fiercest’ – sun bear at the Singapore Zoo is now the proud grandmother of a yet to be named male baby bear. This 33-year-old matriarch named Garang, which means ‘fierce’ in Malay, and her daughter Judy welcomed the new family member in February.

Baby sun bear singapore zoo 3 rs

Baby sun bear singapore zoo 2 rs

Baby sun bear singapore zoo 1 rs

Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

A species ‘vulnerable’ to extinction, Singapore Zoo, is doing its part to ensure the sun bear’s survival through its successful captive breeding programme, which has produced three sun bears since Garang’s arrival as a one-year-old cub in 1978. Mother and daughter duo Judy and Matahari were both born in Singapore Zoo, as was the latest three-month-old addition.