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The Malaysian bear is the smallest bear in the world but also one of the rarest. Much smaller than its cousins, it is also much lighter: between 25 and 65 kilograms on average while the polar bear can weigh up to 800 kilograms. Living in some tropical forests of Southeast Asia, it spends a lot of time perched in the trees. Unlike other bears, it benefits from its small size and long sickle-shaped claws.
Another amazing feature: its tongue, the longest of all bears. Being able to measure 45 centimeters, it is very useful for him to fetch honey or to extract insects from the holes where they hide. Its diet provides several services to the ecosystem.
However, this bear is classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). At issue: the destruction of forests on which it depends, and hunting. Like its cousin the Asian black bear with which it shares certain habitats, it is targeted by the trade in bear bile used in traditional Chinese medicine.