CHINA: A video of a Sun bear at Hangzhou Zoo in eastern China recently went viral, causing a wave of speculation and amusement.
In the video, the bear was seen standing on its hind legs, seemingly begging for food from tourists.
However, some netizens took a comical turn, mistakenly suggesting that it might be a zoo staff member dressed in an elaborate bear costume.
The video, which quickly gained traction on social media, led to a flurry of comments and comparisons that highlighted the bear’s slender legs and folds of fur, making it appear human-like to some observers.
“A Malay bear at Hangzhou Zoo went viral… just because it stood up and begged for food from tourists, some netizens mistakenly thought it was a staff member dressed in a costume,” stated a post by ‘灯甲席’ on his Weibo.
The zoo’s response
Hangzhou Zoo promptly responded to the viral speculation, issuing a statement on Sunday(30 Jul).
The statement was written from the bear’s perspective, sarcastically addressing the misunderstandings: “Some people think I stand like a person. It seems you don’t understand me very well.”
The Sun Bear is the smallest bear species, typically comparable in size to a large dog. They are native to the rainforests of South East Asia and are currently classified as an endangered species.
A spokesperson for the zoo firmly denied the rumours, asserting that the bear in question was undoubtedly real and not a human in disguise.
The zoo emphasized that such deception would not occur in a state-run facility. Moreover, they pointed out that a human attempting to impersonate a bear in a fur suit would quickly succumb to the sweltering heat.
To prove the authenticity of the bear and dispel any further doubts about the entertaining mix-up, the zoo decided for reporters to visit and see the bear for themselves on Monday.
While the situation garnered attention and laughter on the internet, it also highlighted the need for public awareness about the endangered Sun Bear and the importance of conservation efforts to protect these remarkable creatures.
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