TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The viral video showing a bear standing on its hind legs at a Chinese zoo has many wondering if it’s real, or just a man in a suit.
A sun bear is seen standing at Hangzhou Zoo, much like a human would. The wrinkles in the skin on his back have led to many questions and lots of skepticism.
Zoo Miami Ron Magill spoke with NBC affiliate WTVJ and says he is adamant that it is in fact a real bear.
“When people see animals stand up, they kind of stand up but they don’t balance themselves that way,” he told WTVJ. “That bear was confidently straight up like a human being and that is very easy to confuse.”
Magill said that sun bears have a unique ability to stand on their hind legs and that they do it often to look for things or smell things.
As for the flaps on their skin while standing? It apparently has to do with their short hair.
Living in warm climates is likely why sun bears have shorter hair, giving us the ability to see the flaps of the skin.
“People are used to seeing grizzly bears and big black bears with much longer hair,” Magill told WTVJ. “They also have those flaps of skin but because their hair is so long, you don’t notice it.”
Magill has worked at the zoo for over 40 years and even has a Conservation Endowment in his name to support organizations and programs that support wild environments and conservation projects.