Cambodian Rescue Bears Find Love in Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo have released adorable footage showing a rare Malayan sun bear playing with his mate.

Rotana was rescued from a private home in Cambodia where he was being kept in a tiny cage as a status symbol, a fate common to many of these unusual small bears.

After being rescued, Rotana was rehomed by the zoo in 2010 along with his brother Somnang in partnership with animal charity Free The Bears , who work to conserve bear species across Asia.

Somnang has since moved to Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands as he’s been matched with a female there in a conservation breeding programme.

However, Rotana stayed in the capital and was recently joined by a four-year-old female bear called Babu. There’s hope that the pair will be compatible after footage showed them playing together when they took their first steps outside together last week.

Alison MacLean, team leader for carnivores at Edinburgh Zoo , said: “It is wonderful to see Rotana and Babu getting on so well.

The threats facing sun bears: get the facts

Sun bears in Cambodia are snared before being butchered and served as bear paw soup.

They’re also kept in battery farms: trapped in tiny cages to harvest their bile, which is used in traditional medicine.

Some are caught from the wild and kept as exotic pets or status symbols.

Many are also kept in cages in hotels for the amusement of guests and tourists.

They’re also under threat due to the rapid destruction of their habitat, which is logged for hard timber products

“Sun bear numbers are rapidly declining in the wild due to deforestation and poaching, so our new couple have an important role to play in the European conservation breeding programme.”

Malayan sun bears are one of the world’s rarest species of bear, with numbers continuing to decline across Asia.

Edinburgh Live

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