Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus)
Distribution: South-eastern Asia, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.
Status: Vulnerable and listed on Appendix I of CITES.
Sun bears Jo-Jo and Srey Ya moved into their new enclosure 'Bears of the Rising Sun' on Wednesday 19th March 2014.
Our two sun bears arrived at Colchester Zoo in September 2010. Both bears were confiscated by Government Anti-Poaching Patrols in Cambodia in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
A lot of time, money and thought went into their modern enclosure, and also into making sure that our sun bears have a home suiting all of their physical and behavioural needs; providing an exciting and diverse habitat.
Jo-Jo and Srey Ya have a large outdoor area for them to explore, along with an indoor area consisting of a waterfall and climbing frames for enrichment. Both the indoor and outdoor areas for our sun bears have public viewing areas, but Jo-Jo and Srey Ya also have the opportunity to retire to their own private, off show, sleeping quarters.
Both bears were confiscated by Government Anti-Poaching Patrols in Cambodia in 2007 and 2008, with Srey Ya found in a village, weighing just 300 grams so young she had not yet opened her eyes when she was confiscated and also suffering from pneumonia. Jo-Jo was rescued from a bar where he was being kept as a pet to amuse visitors at just 6 months old.
Check out information on our new bear enclosure here.
The sun bear, also known as the dog bear or honey bear, after its love of honey, is the smallest of the eight bear species. It is black with a golden crescent marking on its chest which, in ancient Eastern folklore, represents the sun.
There are currently no reliable estimates of the sun bear population but their numbers are decreasing in direct response to excessive logging and illegal poaching.
Colchester zoo currently supports the Free the Bears Fund, the organisation who rescued both our bears.
For more information, check out the website: http://www.freethebears.org.au/
Bears of the Rising Sun Sponsors
Olympus KeyMed strives to play an integral role in helping people around the world lead safer, healthier and more fulfilling lives and, in addition to offering knowledge, expertise and world renowned products, the company actively supports a number of local, regional and global social causes to better the world.
As part of its Environmental Improvement Plan, Olympus KeyMed has empowered a number of working groups, made up of a cross section of enthusiastic employees, to focus on particular environmental aspects. One of these groups is the Ecology Working Group. Originally set up to minimise the company's impact on the site's ecology, the group has now looked to increase Olympus KeyMed's involvement with off-site conservation groups at a local, regional and global level - e.g. Essex Wildlife Trust, Colchester Zoo and the WWF.