Zoo Denies Allegations: Video of Human-Like Bear Causes Uproar!

A zoo in the eastern province of Zhejiang, China, has been forced to dispel rumors that its Malayan sun bear, named Angela, is a person dressed in a bear costume. The controversy began when a video of Angela standing on her hind legs went viral on social media, sparking widespread speculation and debate over the authenticity of the bear’s identity.

The 15-second clip, initially posted on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) on July 27, captured the bear exhibiting behavior that appeared remarkably human-like. Some observers even pointed out the visible folds of fur on Angela’s body, which they claimed resembled ill-fitting human clothing.

However, wildlife expert Wong Siew Te, the founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Malaysia, confirmed that the bear in question is indeed a sun bear. Wong, who has been researching these animals for over two decades, explained that sun bears can exhibit human-like behaviors, such as standing and walking on their hind legs. They can even carry their babies with their hands.

Despite the expert’s reassurances, speculation continued to swirl online, with some questioning the bear’s authenticity. Gino Liu, a previous visitor to Hangzhou Zoo, commented that Angela “looks like a human” but believed her to be a genuine sun bear.

Hangzhou Zoo addressed the controversy on its official social media account, insisting that Angela is, in fact, a Malayan sun bear and not a human in disguise. The zoo added that sun bears are the smallest among bear species, reaching a maximum height of 1.3 meters (51 inches) on their hind legs.

While the debate over Angela’s identity continues, this incident has shed light on the plight of sun bears. According to the World Wildlife Fund, their population has declined by over 30% in the past 30 years, and they are classified as vulnerable on the red list of endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Experts hope that this incident will raise awareness about sun bears and the threats they face due to human activities, including deforestation and hunting.

Animal rights group PETA seized the opportunity to advocate for the relocation of zoo animals, including Angela, to sanctuaries and wildlife reserves that prioritize their well-being. PETA Asia Vice President Jason Baker emphasized that these intelligent and social beings deserve to live freely in their natural habitats, rather than being used for human entertainment.

In conclusion, while the controversy surrounding Angela’s identity may continue to intrigue the public, experts and the zoo itself maintain that she is indeed a sun bear, highlighting the importance of conserving this vulnerable species and reevaluating the treatment of zoo animals.

NBC News


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