Image source: Screenshot from video

This footage of starving sun bears in an Indonesian zoo is too upsetting to watch

January 20th, 2017

An animal welfare group, Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, recorded a video of skinny, starving sun bears in an Indonesian zoo begging food from visitors, triggering an online petition to save the hapless animals.

The video showed the malnourished sun bears with their ribs sticking out begging zoo visitors for food. Park visitors attempt to feed them by throwing crackers, candy, and cakes inside the enclosure; definitely not the kind of diet bears — or any animal, for that matter — should be eating.

Sun bears, also known as “honey bears,” are omnivorous. Their diet consists primarily of honey, fruits, and insects. Their natural habitat are tropical evergreen forests where they have a lot of space to roam and exercise. The video shows the bears in a damp and stony enclosure with no trees or plants in sight to mimic their habitat.

The smallest of bears, an adult sun bear typically weighs 60 to 176 pounds and are about four to five feet in length. These bears in the Indonesian zoo does not look anything close to a what a well-fed sun bear should be like.

Sun Bears, Indonesian Zoo, Hungry

Image source

It wasn’t the first time that the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group called the attention of the zoo regarding its treatment of the bears. Last year, they reported a starving bear that ate his feces. When they asked to see the said bear, they were not allowed by the zoo’s management.

Tori Hollingsworth, an animal activist, commented in the Daily Mail Online:

“The bears are extremely thin and very hungry. Appalled visitors give them junk food to try and keep them alive.

“The video shows how the sun bears immediately go after small pieces of food that are tossed in their direction. They stand on their two feet and beg for more in a truly heartbreaking moment.

“These beautiful creatures should not be allowed to spend one more day at this terrible facility where they are forced to live between concrete walls, with no proper shelter and absolutely no food and water.”

Who can bear to see these beautiful animals treated this way?

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