Partner Series
Sun Bear Is Ray of Sunshine at Belfast Zoo
Indera is one year and eight months old. He arrived at Belfast Zoo in September 2011 as part of a global and collaborative breeding programme.
Credit: Belfast Zoological Gardens

Winter may be fast approaching but Belfast Zoological Gardens has welcomed a little ray of sunshine in the form of Indera, the Malayan sun bear!

Indera was born in Singapore Zoo in 2010 and arrived at Belfast Zoo last month from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent. He is settling in well to his new home with the help of female, Bora, who is teaching him the ropes!

Zoo manager, Mark Challis, said Belfast zoo has been home to Malayan sun bears since 1997. From a conservation perspective, this species is extremely important as Malayan sun bears face a high risk of extinction in the wild and the reasons for their rapid decline are varied and include deforestation and hunting. The whole zoo team is delighted that Indera has settled in so well with Bora and it is clear that the future of Belfast Zoo's Malayan sun bears is bright!

Malayan sun bears are omnivores, eating insects, fruit and honey.
Malayan sun bears are omnivores, eating insects, fruit and honey.
Credit: Belfast Zoological Gardens
The Malayan sun bear is the smallest of the world's eight bear species and on average measures 1.5 metres in height. It is believed that sun bears got their name because of the crescent marking on the chest, which legend says represents the rising sun. Remarkably, sun bears have extremely long tongues which can measure up to 25 centimeters in length. As they are also skilled tree climbers, they can use their tongue to get honey from tree trunks!

You can support the care of Indera by adopting a Malayan sun bear at Belfast Zoo. For more information, email adoption@belfastzoo.co.uk.