Home > Thermo-regulation in polar- and sun bears

Wild polar bears and sun bears live in parts of the world where living conditions can be considered extreme. The polar bear lives in the northern arctic regions, where temperatures are often well below zero Celsius for the majority of the year. The Malayan sun bear lives in tropical South-eastern Asia with average temperatures of around 26 degrees above zero and almost 100% humidity. Both bear species are threatened in the wild by climate change and destruction of their habitat.

Bears in zoos
Polar bears and sun bears are kept in various zoos around the world. Bears in captivity are exposed to a different outside temperature than they are used to all year round. In captivity, the upper temperature limit of polar bears and the lower temperature limit of sun bears are often exceeded. Until now, the effects of this on the species’ metabolisms have hardly been investigated.