Best Of 2001

Best Animal At the Zoo: Malayan sun bear

Infuriated by the unintended taunts of gawkers ("Lookit the baaby!"), the Malayan sun bear paces its log, snout furrowed in ire. The smallest of bears, Helarctos malayanus is only a couple of feet tall and tops out at 150 pounds, though you would do well to remember that no description of the species is complete without reference both to its irritability and its "razor-sharp claws" ("Lookit. Hey, c'mere."). An animal vexed by its adorability, the sun bear appears to have just two modes: indignant at your attention and bemused by your interest in its daily labor of digging for things (three if you count its fixed purposiveness while walking in its pool). Though smallish ("It's a baaby!"), this is a bear that could seriously fuck up your coconut plantation, so you should maybe just be quiet.

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