'Alien' Bear From Tragic Viral Video Is Alert And Getting The Help She Needs
A sick sun bear whose tragic story went viral is now showing signs of recovery after she was rescued earlier this month.
The endangered animal, described by some on social media as an "alien-like creature" due to her hairless appearance, had survived being beaten by plantation workers in Borneo last January. When footage emerged online following the attack, wildlife officials worked for months to track her down to get her help.
Veterinarian Silje Robertsen, her caregiver at the Matang Wildlife Center where she was taken after being rescued, says the bear is suffering from a mite infestation, skin infection and moderate anemia, leaving her in a weakened state, the Malaysian Star reports.
Despite all she's been through, she continues to make improvements.
"As of today, the animal is alert, able to climb and to eat normally," the Sarawak Forestry Corporation said in a statement. "In the meantime, her treatment will continue based on a carbohydrate-rich diet with food supplements, antibiotics and protein."
It's still unclear how fully she will recover, but officials hope her health can improve enough for her to be released back into the wild.
Getting this sick bear back home isn't only the ideal outcome for her, but for her species as a whole as well. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, sun bear populations have declined by as much as 30 percent in the past three decades, losing ground as their native forests are cleared to make room for palm oil plantations.