UK wildlife park shares another sun bear standing 'like a human' after zoo sparks debate
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A UK wildlife park has waded into the debate following accusations that a zoo in China has been using a bloke dressed in a bear suit as a sun bear.
Yep, in case you’ve missed it - Hangzhou Zoo has hit headlines across the world due to the fact that some folk believe its sun bear Angela is actually some poor fella wearing a bear costume. Unbearlievable (sorry).
The rumours were then stoked further when a video of the bear waving at visitors was shared online.
However, the zoo insists that the bear is 100 percent genuine sun bear and has issued a statement denying the claims.
In a social media post, that appeared to be written from Angel’s perspective, the zoo said: “Some people think that I am a person when I stand up… It seems that you don’t know me too well.”
And now Hertfordshire-based Paradise Wildlife Park has shared a clip of its own sun bear - named Kyra - standing up on her hind legs with the caption: “We can confirm that Kyra is a sun bear.”
In the clip, Kyra can be seen in a similar stance to Angela as she wanders over to the camera to suss out what’s going on.
In a statement, Paradise Wildlife Park explains that the stance is a ‘natural behavior’ for ‘a greater view of their surroundings or [to] smell far-off objects’.
It added: “They also try to intimidate their enemies by displaying the chest patch if threatened.”
Now if you just read that statement and thought, ‘that’s all well and good but what about the fact that Angela’s a**e somehow looks about three sizes too big for her?’
Another expert has confirmed to the BBC that, in her opinion, it is ‘definitely a real bear’.
Dr Ashleigh Marshall, from Chester Zoo, explained that the sun bear’s saggy skin was a defence mechanic, saying that it helps them quickly ‘turn around in their skin’ when attacked from behind.
While the wild explanation may put the rumours to rest, the animal expert did admit that the specifics often ‘look a lot like people in their costumes’.
Well, I never doubted you for a second, Angela.
Whether she’s the real deal or not, she’s given a boost for the Hangzhou Zoo, with the Daily Mail reporting a 30 percent jump in visitor numbers with people eager to see the now-viral bear and learn more about the sun bear species.