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Petite, Tropical and Vulnerable

Found in the rain forests of Southeast Asia, Malayan sun bears are omnivores who love to feed primarily on termites, ants, beetle larvae, bee larvae and a large variety of fruit species (especially figs when available). Bees, beehives, and honey are also important food sources for the world's smallest bears. They are, unfortunately, under heavy pressure from deforestation and habitat loss, as well as poaching.

Our Malayan Sun Bears

They give new meaning to the phrase “hanging out.”  These beautiful bears love to get on their stomach on a large tree trunk and hang their limbs in mid-air so they can catch Miami’s warm, radiant sun rays and watch visitors admire them. Easily recognizable by the yellow crescent-shaped patch on their chest that resembles a rising sun – hence their name – these animals are strong, curious, and the smallest species of bear. You will marvel at some of the yoga positions they manage to get into at times while stretching or pumping branches as though they were at the gym! Zoo Miami is proud of its two Malayan sun bears – Liberty and Kala (pronounced Kayla).  Liberty, a 27-year-old male, was aptly named because he was born on the Fourth of July.  One of his favorite pastimes is to gather grass, leaves, and anything else he can find, to make himself a “mat” so he can lie down and chill.  His 20-year-old female exhibit-mate is quite the opposite.  Kala is sassy and rambunctious.  She loves destroying branches and shredding her bedding material.  She is notorious for cracking open coconuts with her massive claws, rolling on her back, placing the coconut on her chest, and drinking the coconut water in about 40 seconds flat!  Don’t know if that qualifies as a world record.  One thing in common is their love for eating yummy fruits and insects. True to their nature, they are known for craving sweet honey, using their foot-long tongue to dig into honeycombs for a treat, thus earning them the nickname “Honey Bears!”

Photo Gallery

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Adopt an Animal

There are many different ways to support your favorite Zoo Miami animal. Adopting an animal is a great way to say thank you to the animals that make your visits to the zoo special. When you become an annual sponsor, your tax-deductible gift will help our zoo keepers feed, care for, and enrich the lives of our special animal residents.

Support Zoo Miami by Donating Today

General support of Zoo Miami and Zoo Miami Foundation ensures that our commitment to education, conservation, animal care, and serving the community is fulfilled. There are many ways to give and show your support, from supporting an event or program at the zoo, capital support for new exhibits, or honoring a loved one. We are here to serve the community and we can do so much more with your support!

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Upload Your Videos & Photos

Have you been to Zoo Miami lately? Did you take a great photo or video? If so, we'd love to see your work. Submit your photos or videos to have them featured here on our site.