Hangzhou Zoo Denies Claims that Sun Bears are Humans in Costume

Hangzhou Zoo Denies Claims that Sun Bears are Humans in Costume

Representatives from the Hangzhou Zoo in eastern China are denying rumors that their sun bears are actually humans dressed in costumes. The zoo insists that these are, in fact, bears. A viral video of a bear named Angela standing on its hind legs and waving sparked the controversy.

Despite the zoo’s denial, tourists have been visiting the zoo in large numbers to judge for themselves. Visitor numbers have increased by approximately 30% since the video went viral. Chinese media will be given access to the bears to confirm their true identity, according to the Hangzhou Daily.

The sun bear, the world’s smallest bear species, is native to Southeast Asia and is currently listed as a threatened species. They have loose skin, which allows them to protect themselves against predators. The Hangzhou Zoo emphasized that the extreme temperatures would make it physically impossible for a human to wear a bear suit for an extended period of time.

In the past, Chinese zoos have faced criticism for misleading visitors by passing off one animal as another. This includes instances such as a dog dyed to look like a wolf, a Tibetan mastiff presented as a lion, and a donkey painted with stripes to resemble a zebra.

The Hangzhou Zoo, a government-run facility, maintains that Angela and the other sun bears are genuine bears. The zoo cannot fathom a situation where humans would be dressed in bear costumes at their establishment.