This past Tuesday in the New York Times:
Chinese Zoo Denies, in Voice of a Bear, That Sun Bear Is a Person in a Suit
Employees at the Hangzhou zoo, accused of harboring a human in sun bear disguise, felt compelled to respond. On July 29, an unnamed worker defended the bear and the zoo to a Chinese news outlet in an interview that circulated on social media.
Of course it’s a real animal, it’s definitely not a person in disguise,he said.Our place is a state-run facility, such situations won’t happen here.
The worker offered an unusual follow-up defense, arguing that bear suits are simply too hot to wear in the summer, when temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit.If you were to wear a suit, you definitely couldn’t bear it for more than a few minutes,he said.You’d have to lie down.
Was he speaking from personal experience? He didn’t say. His explanation did not satisfy all the doubters, so the zoo followed up with a statement on Sunday written in the voice ofAngela the Malayan sun bear.
The statement insisted that the bear was truly a bear, as opposed to a person pretending to be a bear — or a person pretending to be a bear insisting they were not a person pretending to be a bear.
Yesterday after work, I received a call from the park manager asking me if I was slacking off and had a biped replace me,the statement said,Much to my surprise, I’m just sitting in the mountains and I go viral on the internet. Some people think I look too human when I stand up. It seems you really don’t understand me. Previously, some visitors even thought I was too petite to be a bear! I want to emphasize again: I am a Malayan sun bear! Not a black bear! Not a dog! A Malayan sun bear!
Charles Robbins, director of research at the Washington State University Bear Center, agreed with the theory that the bear was begging for food.
Looks like a sun bear to me,Dr. Robbins said on Tuesday.
— Chang Che, Chinese Zoo Denies, in Voice of a Bear, That Sun Bear Is a Person in a Suit
New York Times, 2 Sextilis 2023
- [Sic. —R.G.]↩