Sun Bears

The tropical forest habitat that OFI operates within is home to a diverse array of species in addition to the Bornean Orangutan. Like orangutans, sun bears are struggling to find safe and suitable habitation due to large-scale deforestation and poaching. As a result, OFI is stepping up to care for an increasing number of at-risk bears. To prepare for their release into the wild, the sun bears spend enrichment time in forested enclosures where they can practice climbing, foraging and social skills.

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New arrival Lensa has adapted quickly to her new home and continues to flourish. She has already shown a natural aptitude for tree climbing, characteristic of sun bears who, like orangutans, forage for food in trees. Lensa’s long, curved claws help her to climb and tear at trees, and her hairless paws stabilize her grip on wet tree branches.


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Memo is the oldest and most dominant of the sun bear cubs. Here, she reminds plucky young John who’s in charge with a warning growl.


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John keeps his distance after Memo’s rebuke, but quickly hops up to take her spot in the tree after she leaves. He eagerly licks up any termites she might have missed, extending his nearly 10-inch-long tongue to extract the insects.



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Lensa stays close by John and learns important skills as she watches him forage for food on the forest ground.


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John and Lensa have quickly struck up a close friendship, and gleefully spend most of their day in the forest chasing each other around and wrestling on the forest floor.


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Eventually Lensa gets tired of rough-housing with John and seeks a reprieve. John may be bigger and stronger, but Lensa is a much better climber!

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