A video of a bear named Angela at Hangzhou Zoo in China has been making rounds online, leaving viewers puzzled. In the viral footage, the bear is seen standing on its hind legs, prompting speculations about whether it might be a human disguised in a bear costume to deceive visitors. The video has sparked debates online, with some expressing disbelief that a bear could imitate human behaviour so convincingly. However, to dispel the doubts, the zookeepers intervened and shared a social media post from Angela’s perspective, clarifying the situation and offering an explanation for the bear’s behaviour.
They wrote, “Some people think I stand like a person. It seems you don’t understand me very well. When it comes to bears, the first thing that comes to mind is a huge figure and amazing power. But not all bears are behemoths and danger personified. We Malayan bears are petite, the smallest bear in the world.”
Even Hangzhou Zoo’s spokesperson confirmed the bear’s authenticity in an audio recording circulated on WeChat. Addressing the speculation that the bear might be a person in a costume, the spokesperson stated that such act would be physically impossible due to the thick fur in the boiling summer heat. They further claimed that the zoo is a government-operated facility and highlighted, “There will never be situations like that.”
In a conversation with BBC’s PM programme, Dr Ashleigh Marshall, an expert from Chester Zoo, spoke about the matter. She asserted that the animal in the viral video is definitely a real sun bear. She explained that due to their unique appearance and certain features, they can sometimes resemble people in costumes. Talking about folded fur in the back, she clarified that this is a natural characteristic.
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Shedding more light on the folds, she explained that they serve a crucial purpose in protecting the bears from predators. The looseness of the skin allows the sun bear to move and “turn around in their skin,” allowing them to defend themselves if faced with a larger predator, such as a tiger.
When standing on their hind legs, the Sun bears typically reach a height of around 50 inches. While grizzly bears can grow up to an impressive 9 feet tall when standing on their legs.
first published: August 01, 2023, 16:37 IST
last updated: August 01, 2023, 16:37 IST