Meet the smallest bear in the world

A yellow U-shaped patch, the longest tongue of its kind... This is the smallest bear in the world, but also one of the rarest. Meet the Malayan Sun Bear.

One of the rarest bears in the world

This is the smallest bear in the world but also one of the rarest. Much smaller than its cousins the brown bear, the giant panda and the polar bear, it is also much lighter: weighing between 25 and 65 kilos on average, whereas polar bears can weigh up to 800 kilos.

Living in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, it spends a lot of time hanging in trees. Unlike other bears, it benefits from its small size and large sickle-shaped claws. Up there, it builds a kind of nest that it uses for shelter. Another surprising feature: its tongue, which is the longest of all bear species. Measuring up to 45 cm, it helps it fetch honey and extract insects from the holes they're hiding in. Its food diet provides several services to the ecosystem. The seeds of the fruits it feeds on are spread through its feces and contribute to the survival of the tropical forest. By eating parasites like termites, it also regulates their population and limits their impact on trees.

However, this bear is listed as "vulnerable" by the IUCN. The reasons: the destruction of the forests on which it depends and hunting. Like its cousin the Asian black bear, with which it shares some habitats, it is targeted by the trade in bear bile, used in traditional Chinese medicine. In Southeast Asia, several organizations are working to protect this unique bear. Recognizable by its short black fur, the yellow u-shaped patch on its chest and its greyish-orange muzzle, this is the Malayan Sun Bear.


03/27/2020 7:24 AM


  • Lina S.
    07/14/2020 06:46


  • Jody S.
    07/12/2020 15:43

    The writing here is not helpful. Tell us the name of the bear up front. The leadin here is ridiculously long.

  • Lisa O.
    06/30/2020 15:03

    Bloody Chinese again!

  • Khan H.
    06/25/2020 09:01

    Smallest but the most dangerous, it can remove human face with its class in secons

  • Anupam S.
    06/18/2020 23:17

    the bear I saw as kid.. It's what you'll find in India too.. Perhaps a Lil bigger but just like this.

  • Diana S.
    06/15/2020 19:41


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  • Aarti B.
    06/10/2020 17:12


  • Prantik B.
    06/10/2020 12:18

    It's a pity that these beautiful creatures are vulnerable! 😢

  • Narendra M.
    06/10/2020 09:15

    Looks like a relative of sloth bear

  • Roland P.
    06/09/2020 19:05


  • Ryan F.
    06/09/2020 06:55

    So tragic what a human won’t do to obtain some selfish gain. The chinese in particular, have no regards for animals. How do u even begin to justify caging up an animal in a rusty iron prison barely big enough to turn your head, so that you can fatten it up to extract bile so that your penis can grow bigger or whatever absurdity is used to justify this. I can’t imagine what thats like, even our prison system are better than this. Imagine living a wild life free to roam as you pls and then being snatched to live a life of slavery with not an understanding in the world as to why!?! So vile!

  • Roger D.
    06/09/2020 00:00

    Cruel....typical human intellect!

  • Connor B.
    06/08/2020 15:03

    - We saw a sun bear and I had no idea they were one of the rarest bears on the planet!

  • Debbie P.
    06/08/2020 15:01

    Wish it would stop being called 'Chinese medicine' when all it is, is unfounded Chinese superstitious nonsense

  • Randa K.
    06/08/2020 11:18

    Sadly Ancient Chinese or any of the ancient "medicines", are extincting many animals, and has no REAL proof they work. 😡😡😡

  • Garima V.
    06/08/2020 11:12

    Most of the hunting that happens in India and rest of asia is because of China. China and Chinese practices have devastated the ecosystem of not only of its own country but entire globe. Most of the species that are endangered are because either they are eaten in China or their fur, teeth, nails are to be used in their rubbish medicines.

  • Noel S.
    06/08/2020 11:11

    Everything in China is medicine. They're crazy. They're unreal

  • Eman Z.
    06/08/2020 10:49

    When will human will act like human

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