Hangzhou Zoo Addresses Rumors of Bears in Costume
Hangzhou Zoo has categorically denied recent rumors and conspiracy theories that some of its bears are actually people dressed in costume. The rumors began after videos of a sun bear standing on its hind legs went viral on Chinese social media platforms.
In response to these unfounded claims, zoo officials issued a statement to clarify the situation. Taking an unconventional approach, they wrote the statement from the perspective of “Angela,” the sun bear featured in the viral videos. Angela, who resides at Hangzhou Zoo, wanted to address the rumors directly and put an end to the speculation.
Sun bears, known as the world’s smallest bear species, are native to Southeast Asia. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they are listed as vulnerable, and countries like Malaysia have designated them as a protected species. Unfortunately, their numbers in the wild have declined by a shocking 35% over the past three decades, largely due to poaching and deforestation.
Recognizing the urgent need to protect and conserve this species, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center (BSBCC) has dedicated its efforts to caring for rescued sun bears and raising awareness about their plight. The center educates visitors about the importance of preserving the sun bears’ natural habitat and combating the illegal bear bile trade.
Standing on their hind legs and possessing loose, saggy skin are natural traits for sun bears that serve important functions in the wild. This ability helps them forage for food and inspect their surroundings in dense forests. However, deforestation and hunting pose significant threats to their existence. These innocent creatures often fall victim to the cruel bear bile trade, in which they are confined and subjected to painful procedures to extract bile for traditional medicine.
By sharing Angela’s perspective and highlighting the vital role of sun bears in their ecosystems, Hangzhou Zoo aims to raise awareness about the urgency of protecting these vulnerable creatures. It is crucial for individuals, communities, and governments to join the fight against deforestation, poaching, and the destructive bear bile trade to ensure the survival of this precious species.
As the rumors are now officially debunked, Hangzhou Zoo hopes that the public will continue to support their efforts in conserving and preserving the sun bear population.
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