National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi! I’m Arataki a Malaysian Sun Bear

The Sun Bear is the smallest of the world’s eight types of bears. It is found primarily in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The Sun Bear stands approximately 1.2 meters tall and weighs around 65kg. It takes its name from the yellow crest on its chest. As the least studied bear species, comparatively little is known about the Malayan sun bear. It is an opportunistic omnivore, using its long tongue to eat termites and ants, beetle and bee larvae, honey and a large variety of fruit.

Numbers of Sun Bears in the wild are decreasing. The main threats are; habitat destruction (around 75% of their natural habitat is already destroyed), bile farming and the pet and restaurant trade. The National Zoo & Aquarium supports Free the Bears. This organisation rescues and rehabilitates captive bears as well as working with local communities and governments. Find out how you can help Sun Bears at

The National Zoo & Aquarium is home to 2 Sun Bears; a male named Arataki, and Otay, a female who was rescued from the restaurant trade.

Malaysian Sun Bear

Meet a Malaysian sun bear on our sun bear Encounter

Learn more

Malaysian Sun Bear facts

DISTRIBUTION South-eastern Asia, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo
WEIGHT 35–80kg
LENGTH Head to body 120–150cm
HEIGHT 70cm to shoulder
LIFE SPAN Unknown in the wild, up to 30 years in captivity
GESTATION 96–100 days

Meet a Malaysian sun bear on our sun bear Encounter

Learn more
Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

We are open every day except Christmas day 9.30am until 5.00pm

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