Unfortunate misunderstood creature caught by wildlife officials in Malaysia

Even natives are ignorant about local animals when they look different. They call it a monster, alien, or mutant, and they beat it. The unfortunate critter was just very ill. The video of the frightened animal in Sarawak appeared in January, but this story has just resurfaced as wildlife rescuers have finally captured the animal, a sun bear (honey bear), not a “chupacabra” or a monster. But it does look bizarre with its bat-like movements and long claws.

Strange Alien-like Creature in Viral Video Confirmed to Be “Naked” Sun Bear | OutdoorHub.

In January, Indonesian plantation workers near the village of Sibu were horrified to find what appeared to be a gaunt, hairless creature with razor-sharp claws and teeth. Believing the creature to be a monster or alien, the workers documented it on camera before driving it back into the forest. According to the workers, the animal even attempted to charge them at one point.

When the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) heard about the bear three months ago, the company sent a team into the jungle to rescue it. After many weeks of fruitless searching, the team was finally able to capture the sickly bear last week.

The animal will be taken care of at the Matang Wildlife Center near Kuching. It’s not yet clear what the loss of all fur is caused by but we see many other animals, including bears that have this condition. They do not thrive in the wild and often fail to find food or may freeze to death. Other naked animals may be prone to sunburn and skin cancer. Perhaps some answers can be found through this unfortunate case that had a better than usual ending – it wasn’t shot. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a vulnerable species due to deforestation.
hairless sunbear

Edit 9-Apr-2015: Title revised from Indonesia to Malaysia.

  4 comments for “Unfortunate misunderstood creature caught by wildlife officials in Malaysia

  1. Ronald H. Pine
    April 9, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    The name “honey bear” is sometimes also used for the kinkajou, and, supposedly, for certain other kinds of animals, although I have never encountered these other usages. “Sun Bear” is, by far, a better name to use for the kind of animal discussed above.

  2. Ronald H. Pine
    April 9, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Yes, locals don’t always have a clue to the existence of certain animals. It was also in Sarawak, a while back, as I recall, that villagers were mystified by a stink badger that showed up, and this became international “news.” Years ago, I was in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico and acquired a couple of water opossums. There is no particular reason to believe that these animals were rare in the region but the few locals in this remote area had not previously been aware of the existence of such a creature.

  3. Mike C.
    April 9, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    Poor creature. It looks like a chupacabra.

  4. Russian Skeptic
    April 9, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    Improbable human stupidity. It’s enough to have a glimpse of it to recognize that it moves like a bear and has bear muzzle and ears. A normal furry bear looks much like this when wet.

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