sun bear


: a small forest-dwelling bear (Ursus malayanus synonym Helarctos malayanus) of southeastern Asia that has short glossy black fur with a lighter muzzle and often an orange or white breast mark

Examples of sun bear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In July 2023, the Hangzhou Zoo in Eastern China had to officially deny claims that one of its sun bears was a human in a bear suit after footage of the animal standing on its hind legs went viral. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 The effort will combine new data from camera traps, field surveys and input from hundreds of experts across Southeast Asia to determine local sun bear presence. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Mar. 2024 Habitats for thousands of species, including orangutans, sun bears and pygmy elephants, were destroyed, putting some animals in danger of extinction. Patricia Cohen Jes Aznar, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2024 The footage distributed by the Associated Press shows a sun bear standing on its hind legs at the Tha Lat Open Zoo in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. David Chiu, Peoplemag, 13 Aug. 2023 In a 15-second clip posted on July 27 to Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, the slender Malayan sun bear can be seen standing on her hind legs and watching a small crowd expectantly from her enclosure, sometimes raising her paws as if waving to visitors. Lyric Li, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2023 Another woman was prosecuted for keeping a sun bear in her house in Singapore in 1993. Heather Chen, CNN, 5 Aug. 2023 The latter hashtag seemingly nods to some other zoo bears who have made headlines this summer — the sun bears of Hangzhou Zoo. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 13 Aug. 2023 Malayan sun bears are the smallest bears in the world. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sun bear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sun bear was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near sun bear

Cite this Entry

“Sun bear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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