If you go down to the woods today.....

Thailand is home to 2 bear species: the Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) also known as the moon bear; and the Malayan sun bear (Ursus malayanus). Both species listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, primarily due to their dependence on forested habitats. Both are very interesting species as the former is the oldest known species of bear known, and the latter is the smallest species of bear known in the world.

Any encounter with a wild bear is a scary one as there are numerous accounts of human/bear encounters that did not go well, for the human that is. Thailand's bears may not be huge animals but evolution has equipped them with powerful bodies and razor sharp claws to maintain their arboreal existence. Weapons and power no human is a match for if they are unfortunate enough to put a wild bear into a defensive situation. Its because of this that they are one of the forest's animals that strike fear into many forest rangers.

In truth the bear, like all forest mammals will know that you are there long before you have any idea of its presence and will have evaded you accordingly so sightings are not common. I did have a lucky sighting just 8 weeks ago of a sun bear feeding in a ficus tree. It was a very short experience as the moment it realized humans were close by it expertly plummeted down the tree trunk head first and disappeared into the ground foliage.

Neither I nor the rangers was brave enough to investigate any closer on that day. But we returned a few weeks later to setup cameras close to the location in the hope that the bear would still be in the area.

And to our surprise not only did we record a sun bear but also a moon bear as well!

Photo of a Moon Bear


Photo of a Sun Bear

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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” > Robb Sagendorph


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