The Hangzhou Zoo says that the idea that one of its bears might be a person in a costume is not true after video of a standing bear led to the idea.
A video of a bear at a Chinese zoo has sparked an online debate on its authenticity [Reuters]
A zoo in China has denied that one of its sun bears is a person in a costume. This came after a video of an animal standing on its hind legs led people online to say that the animal was a fake.
On Chinese social media over the weekend, a clip of the bear standing up and talking to a group of people at the zoo in eastern Hangzhou City went viral.
Many people on social media posted comments saying they didn’t believe the bear was real. Some said the bear’s two legs and wrinkled skin made them think it was a person in a costume.
The Hangzhou Zoo said Monday on its social media accounts that the rumors were false. It said that the sun bears from Malaysia are smaller than others and look different, but they are real.
It happened after the zoo put out a statement from the bear’s point of view, saying that its critics “really don’t get me.”
“Yesterday after work, the zoo director called me and asked if I was slacking off by finding a two-legged beast to replace me,” said Sunday’s statement.
Describe a sun bear.
Sun bears are from Southeast Asia. They get their name from a bright orange or white patch of fur on their chest that stands out against the rest of their black fur.
The zoo says they are about the size of large dogs and stand no more than 1.3 meters (4 feet) tall on their hind legs, while grizzlies and other species can grow up to 2.8 meters (9 feet).
The sun bear is on the list of species in danger of going extinct because of deforestation and the wildlife trade.
Other Chinese zoos have been accused of putting animals in their enclosures that are not what they seem to be. For example, a hairy dog was passed off as an “African lion,” and a pool was filled with penguin-shaped balloons.