Sun bear is definitely not a human in a costume, Chinese zoo says

After a video showing their sun bear standing sparked online rumors that it was actually a person in a costume, the zoo released a statement assuring the public otherwise.

Sun Bear (Helarctos Malayanus) Pengo At Enclosure At Wellington Zoo, Wellington New Zealand. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Sun Bear (Helarctos Malayanus) Pengo At Enclosure At Wellington Zoo, Wellington New Zealand.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A bear at the Hangzhou Zoo in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang was caught on camera standing upright in a way that made some observers theorize that the bear was really a person wearing a bear costume, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The bear in question is a Malaysian sun bear named Angela.

A video posted to a Chinese Twitter account on Sunday showed the bear standing straight-backed in its enclosure, facing the zoo’s patrons. The video highlights the bear’s lower back, which, having folds, made the animal’s fur appear to some viewers as an ill-fitting costume.

Additionally, the adult sun bear’s small stature is closer to the size of a human than many other species of bear.

The Twitter post, which has gone viral and has been viewed over 405 thousand times, asserts that the Hangzhou Zoo is a “communist zoo.” that the “animals are all fake,” and that the bear is actually just a person wearing a costume.

Zoo dismisses costume rumors

The zoo subsequently released a statement dismissing the allegations that the bear was a person in a costume. The statement was written from the bear’s perspective.


“When it comes to bears, the first thing that comes to mind is a huge figure and amazing power… But not all bears are behemoths and danger personified. We Malayan bears are petite, the smallest bear in the world.”

The Guardian further reported that, in an audio recording circulated on WeChat, a Hangzhou Zoo spokesperson claimed that the kind of deception where a human in a costume would attempt to pass for a bear would not happen at a state-run facility.

WeChat is a Chinese social media, messaging, and mobile payment app,

Additionally, the spokesperson added that a person wearing a fur bear suit “would not last more than a few minutes before collapsing”.