Hangzhou Zoo Sun Bear: Chinese zoo sees 20,000 people a day to see animal amid claims of a ‘human in disguise’

A zoo in China is seeing a huge rise in footfall amid claims that one its sun bears is actually a human in a bear costume
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Visitors are flocking by the thousands to a zoo in Hangzhou to see Angela the ‘fake’ bear after a recent social media piece went viral. Around 20,000 people a day are now going to the zoo, a 30 per cent rise since the video was first shared on Sunday (July 30).

After the video made the rounds on social media, speculation broke as to whether the Sun Bear, named Angela, was actually a bear. People strongly believed that it was a human in a bear suit.

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Many argue that the angle to video was filmed at makes the human look more human-like,  as it offered an unflattering view of its loose and ruffled up bottom fur, which mimicked that of a costume.

In a statement, the zoo said: “When it comes to bears, the first thing that comes to mind is a huge figure and amazing power … But not all bears are behemoths and danger personified. We Malayan bears are petite, the smallest bear in the world.”

The zoo were quick to make a statement quickly dismissing any speculation regarding if the bear was real or not. They said that such deception just simply wouldn’t happen at a state-run zoo, among other things.

A separate statement said: “If you get someone to wear such thick fur in this summer heat, they won’t last more than a few minutes before they need to lie down. We are a government-operated zoo. There will never be situations like that.”

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Experts have also weighed in, giving their opinion. Dr Ashleigh Marshall, an expert from Chester Zoo, told the BBC that the animal ‘is definitely a real bear’.

She explained that the folds on its back, assumed to be evidence of an ill-fitting costume, help protect the bear from predators, as the looseness allows the bear to ‘turn around in their skin’ and fight back if grabbed.

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