San Antonio Zoo bear says he’s real after Chinese zoo sun bear controversy goes viral

Chinese zoo denies sun bear is a human in costume after internet uproar

The San Antonio Zoo’s spectacled bear is weighing in after a recent viral video from a Chinese zoo had social media questioning whether or not the zoo’s sun bear is real or a person in costume.

Curt, the spectacled bear at San Antonio Zoo, posted a selfie on social media earlier this week with the caption “#IAmReal”.

The selfie was posted after some heavy skepticism regarding the sun bear at a zoo in eastern China, which went viral after people noticed the animal looked like a human in a bear suit.

Following the accusation, CNN got a statement from the zoo that read “I’m Angela the sun bear – I got a call after work yesterday from the head of the zoo asking if I was being lazy and skipped work today and found a human to take my place. Let me reiterate again to everyone that I am a sun bear – not a black bear, not a dog – a sun bear!”

While we can’t confirm the status on Angela, KSAT did reach out to San Antonio Zoo to learn a bit more about Curt.

San Antonio Zoo officials said spectacled bears are native to South America, residing in the Andes Mountains.

“They get their name from the cream-colored markings they often have around their face and eyes, resembling glasses,” said Jacob Downing of the San Antonio Zoo. “Their species population listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN, which is primarily due to habitat loss and poaching.”

Curt is 10 years old and Downing referred to him as a “bit of a character.”

“He is known for often resting in human-like and unconventional ways,” Downing said. “Curt can often be seen swimming in his pool or resting in his hammock. While he mainly eats fruits and vegetables, his favorite treat is fish.”

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.