- Hangzhou Zoo in China denied rumours of humans dressed as bears after a video of a sun bear standing on hind legs goes viral
- Zookeepers clarified that the bear is a real Malaysian sun bear, the smallest bear species globally, not a human in costume
- Other Chinese zoos have faced similar accusations, such as passing off dogs as wolves and donkeys as zebras
A zoo in eastern China has denied claims that some of its bears could be humans after a video of one standing on its hind legs circulated online.
Bear or human in disguise?
Some netizens speculated that the bear could be a human dressed in a costume due to its slender legs and folds of fur, giving it an uncanny resemblance to a person acting as a bear.
Hangzhou Zoo speaks out
In a statement seen by the Guardian, the zookeepers stated from the perspective of Angela, a Malaysian sun bear residing in the zoo.
They stated that not all bears are huge and dangerous, pointing out that the Malayan bears are petite and, in fact, the smallest bear species globally.
Despite the zoo's assurance that the sun bear is authentic, an audio recording circulated on WeChat featured a spokesperson reaffirming the animal's reality and dismissing any notions of deception at the state-run facility.
He also explained that a human in a fur bear suit would be unable to endure the scorching 40°C (104°F) summer temperature for more than a few minutes.
Interestingly, the video's viral nature sparked comparisons to previous incidents in other Chinese zoos, where allegations of animals being misrepresented surfaced.
Man who spent over GH¢200k to look like a dog, makes his 1st public appearance, interacts with other dogs on the street
These included dogs being dyed to resemble wolves or African cats, and donkeys being painted to imitate zebras.
To dispel the rumors surrounding the sun bear, Hangzhou Zoo is arranging visits for reporters, offering an opportunity to witness the bear's natural behavior and characteristics up close.
Gorilla believed to be male for years gives birth
Separately, workers at the Colombus Zoo in Ohio were recently dumbfounded when a gorilla they had always believed was male gave birth
The primate named Sully has been in the zoo since 2019, a four-year period within which the zoo keepers thought she was a male.
BBC reported that the zookeepers were dumbfounded when they discovered that the "male" gorilla had a newborn she was nursing.
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