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