Alright most of you must have watched or at least heard about the news of a strange creature which freaked out plantation workers in Sibu, Sarawak in late January. Well, in case you missed it, below is the video.
As much as I object hitting a helpless animal let alone a potentially new cryptid in Borneo, the workers may had the rights to knock it out seeing how potentially dangerous the beast was. I mean look at it! Look at those claws! If I were the plantation worker I'd whack it too when I see this malnourished Smeagol with manicure issues come charging at me.
But as it turned out I've seen this creature and its picture floating in the internet (sic 9gag) and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation confirmed my speculation. That strange creature was a Helarctos malayanus or also known as a sun bear.
"Woi it's 6am why you switched on the lights I wanna sleep cannot ah?!"
Picture from a-z animals
Well instead of being corrupted by the One Ring. the bear found at the plantation was most likely suffering from a skin condition due to recent floods in Sarawak. And this bear disease which causes it to lose its fur happens to bears in other countries. So imagine the cute furry bear up there turning to look like its cousin in Leipzig zoo as shown below:
"Well, at least I still have my side burns and good personality"
Picture from dailymail.co.uk
But unlike the American counterpart where we capture shaky videos of strange animals and build a cult or TV shows around it, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation viewed the video as a distress call from the bear. Almost immediately the SFC launched the SWAT team to find the creature.
Nope, unlike the American fully-armed black-clad law enforcement counterpart, the SWAT here refers to Swift Wildlife Action Team which is conducting a search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate and help the sick bear. Kudos to them for taking such prompt initiative to conserve Sarawakian wildlife.
The SAR is still ongoing at the time of writing this post, but we can only hope and pray the ailing bear will be found alive and in time to be healed.
BONUS FAST FACTS - The sun bear is native to the tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia. They are also called as the "Honey Bear" due to their voracious appetite for honeycombs and honey. It is a protected species in Malaysia but little enforcement occurs. Luckily, there is a special rehabilitation and conservation centre for Bornean sun bears in Sandakan, Sabah managed by wildlife biologist Wong Siew Te. In addition, due to its diet the sun bear has a tongue measuring from 7.9 to 9.8 inch. Whoa! Imagine the things you can do with that!
Picture from thesun.co.uk