On 31st of October the CFZ 2010 expedition leaves England. They will be exploring the Garo Hills in Northern India in search of the mande-burung or Indian yeti. The five-man team consists of team leader Adam Davies, Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer, field naturalist Jonathan McGowan, and cryptozoologist Richard Freeman.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

OLL LEWIS: Here Comes The Sun Bear

One of the creatures often used to explain away sightings of the Indian yeti is the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus). It is easy to see how in some cases, for example when a the 'yeti' is glimpsed very briefly in pitch darkness or from behind, a mistaken identification like this could be possible, after all a lot of possible lake monster sightings can turn out to have been caused by a floating log or a perfectly natural wave. Some cases... but not all. When a sun bear is seen from the front there is no mistaking the distinctive orange horse-shoe marking under the chin and its creamy-coloured, distinctly bear-like face. I find it hard to believe that anybody who managed to get a half decent look at a sun bear would be insistent that they had seen a cryptid. This especially applies to locals who would certainly be familiar with most of the local wildlife, not least because a lot of it; like tigers, leopards, snakes and indeed sun bears; is potentially very dangerous indeed.

That is not to say that sun bears are not interesting animals in their own right. Sun bears are the smallest of the Ursidaes, measuring around 1.2 metres (4ft) in length. Sun bears will often climb trees to find safe places to rest during the day, and are nocturnal. They are classed as vulnerable by the IUCN due to deforestation fragmenting the species' habitat throughout their range and uncontrolled exploitation in trade of body parts for Chinese medicine amongst other things.

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