While I was out in the Northwest, I visited the Portland Zoo and their new baby otter pup. While I was there, I discovered a new animal to bestow my love and affection on: The sun bear, a mythical creature that combines the best of the bear world, with the undeniable coolness of a sloth. The sun bear’s native habitat is Southeast Asia, but sadly, thanks to overpopulation and deforestation, the sun bear’s population has decreased by a third in the last 60 years, and they’re currently classified as an endangered species. And oh, you want to hear something horrifying? According to the Winton Foundation for the Welfare of Bears, “The bear is often boiled alive to be eaten as a delicacy at banquets. It is believed the bear’s fear tenderises the meat.” UGH. Don’t cook a sun bear alive. Don’t cook a sun bear at all.
There are more shots of the sun bear and his ginormous claws being adorable after the jump, but if you’d like to do something to help these guys, you can support Winton or the Save the Sun Bear Foundation.