The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is also known as the "honey bear", which refers to its voracious appetite for honeycombs and honey.
The majority of the Malayan sun bear’s forest habitat has been destroyed by logging and conversion to agriculture. In addition to leveling the forest, logging roads create convenient access for poachers. As natural food sources disappear, sun bears are driven by hunger to forage for food on farms and plantations, where they are shot or trapped by angry farmers.
The demand for bear products is the greatest threat to all bears. Traditional Asian medicine prescribes bear fat, gall, meat, paws, spinal cord, blood, and bones for complaints ranging from baldness to rheumatism. Bear entrees are popular in restaurants, and sun bear paws are favored in Taiwan for soup.
In addition, locals often keep sun bears as pets. The mother bears are killed in order to obtain cubs young enough to tame.
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