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.
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.