A UK zoo has waded into the global conspiracy theory that Sun bears may just be humans in costume.
Now-infamous footage of the world’s smallest bear standing on its hind feet at Hangzhou Zoo sent shockwaves through social media.
Was a tiny zookeeper really dressing up in a furry suit to wave at tourists?
Well, it appears not.
Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire released footage of Kyra, one of its own Sun bears, who also likes to stand upright.
‘We can confirm that Kyra is a Sun bear,’ the zoo said.
‘Sun bears might look human when they stand, but they actually have the natural behaviour of standing on their hind feet.’
Other zoos have also spoken out in solidarity with their Chinese colleagues.
Ashleigh Marshall from Chester Zoo agreed Sun bears do ‘look a lot like people in their costumes’ – but they’re ‘definitely’ real.
She added the folds on the bear’s back, which many people said looked like a costume, were to help protect them from predators.
The loose skin allows the bear to turn around and fight back if it is attacked.
Sun bears earned their name from the bright golden patch on their chest, and can be found in the dense lowland forests of Southeast Asia.
Hangzhou Zoo has reportedly seen a 30% increase in visitor numbers following the odd saga.
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