A video of moon bears happily relaxing at a zoo while one raises its paw in an apparent greeting to visitors has resurfaced, sparking theories that they are also humans in costumes following similar furore over a sun bear at a Chinese zoo.
Newly resurfaced video shows two moon bears laying down on a slab of concrete at an unidentified zoo, their arms by their sides and their legs outstretched.
In a comic scene, the pair slowly turn their heads towards the visitors, the rest of their bodies unmoving, as if they are wondering why they are staring at them.
One of the bears even slowly raises its left paw in the air and appears to wave at the visitors.
The distinctly resigned nature of the moon bear has sparked a firestorm on social media, with users questioning whether they are in fact people in bear costumes.
The speculation follows weeks of furious debate over whether a sun bear at a Chinese zoo was in fact a human in disguise after it was filmed standing up on its hind legs and waving to visitors like a person.
Newly resurfaced video shows two moon bears laying down on a slab of concrete at an unidentified zoo, their arms by their sides and their legs outstretched
In a comic scene, the pair slowly turn their heads towards the visitors, the rest of their bodies unmoving, as if they are wondering why they are staring at them
One of the bears even slowly raises its left paw in the air and appears to wave at the visitors
In response to the newly surfaced video of the moon bears, which are also native to Asia but are bigger than sun bears, social media users speculated that they were in fact ‘two humans in bear costumes’.
‘There is no way those are not two humans in bear costumes,’ one user one. ‘You can’t convince me otherwise.’
A second user wrote: ‘They look like some guys in bear costumes’, while another said: ‘They look like dudes in bear suits.’
The firestorm is similar to the one that was sparked when video emerged of Angela the sun bear standing, begging for food, and seemingly waving like a human would.
The camera angle also showed a view of sagging fur around Angela’s behind and her slender legs, prompting suspicious observers to claim it was simply a zoo employee in an elaborate animal suit.
Extraordinary video shows the creature reaching up to catch a snack thrown into its enclosure at Hangzhou Zoo – and comically failing to hold on to it.
The firestorm is similar to the one that was sparked when video emerged of Angela the sun bear standing, begging for food, and seemingly waving like a human would
But the zoo insisted the sun bear is not a person dressed in a costume following days of speculation.
A spokesperson for the zoo insisted a human in a fur bear suit ‘would not last more than a few minutes before collapsing’ in the 104F (40C) summer temperatures.
And Dr Wong Siew Te, a Malaysian wildlife biologist and sun bear specialist, later said the sun bear is definitely not a ‘human in disguise’.
Dr Te said he ‘didn’t know whether to laugh or cry’ when he heard the speculation surrounding the sun bear.
‘There is no doubt that it is a sun bear. I currently have four rescue sun bears in my centre and it shows that people know very little about them,’ he said.
Video showed the strange looking bear standing on two legs, looking for food
From another view, Angela the sun bear bares more of a resemblance to a… bear
As the smallest of the bear family, sun bears are often not remarked for their size, but are more well known for their above average intelligence.
Experts told MailOnline that the animals are ‘incredibly clever’ as they are able to remember the locations of food and mimic each other’s facial expressions to communicate.
And while they have no special evolutionary link to any primates, their ability to stand upright and their unusually straight limbs can trick some into believing they are more human-like than they really are.
It therefore came as no surprise that the behaviour and appearance of the sun bear in China left people around the world debating whether she really is a bear or a person in a costume.
And the resurfaced video of the similarly human-like moon bears laying down at a zoo has sparked similar theories that they were also people wearing costumes.
Other Chinese zoos have been accused of trying to pass off dogs dyed to look like wolves or African cats.
In 2019, two zoo workers at Yancheng Wild Animal World in Changzhou, China, were seen wearing gorilla costumes and jumping around.
Following complaints, the zoo reportedly stated that it was an April Fools’ prank.
In 2018, reports emerged suggesting a Cairo zoo was trying to deceive visitors by painting a donkey black and white to make it look like a zebra.
The bizarre creature was spotted by student Mahmoud A.Sarhani who was visiting the recently opened animal sanctuary at the International Garden municipal park.
A number of vets within the country were quick to confirm that the animal was indeed a donkey.