Hairless sun bear dies of cancer


KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) today announced with deep regrets, the demise of the ‘gollum-like’ sun bear in the late evening of May 18.

The sun bear which had appeared to be recovering at Matang Wildlife Centre had been very sick for more than a week. An autopsy concluded that the animal died of late-stage cancer.

“The animal had not been eating well and vomiting. Worrying for its health, emergency medical intervention was performed under sedation. It was also fed with fluids through IV and food through a stomach tube,” SFC said in a press statement.

“Unfortunately, it succumbed to late-stage cancer with metastatis in the lymph nodes and adjacent organs as well as obstruction in the stomach due to primary tumour with origin in the stomach or pancreas.”

SFC added, “A detailed examination of the bear also revealed that it was in fact a very old bear and not just a full adult as previously thought.

“Cancer aside, the bear had probably reached the end of its natural life span.”

The sun bear was captured at an oil palm plantation in Bintangor on April 2 and was sent to the Matang Wildlife Centre for rehabilitation.

It was found by plantation workers around 7am within the same area where it was first spotted on Jan 30.

The video of the sun bear moving through the forest had gone viral due to its appearance.


Read more:

Slow healing for sun bear at Matang Wildlife Centre 

Hairless sun bear to be rehabilitated