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Sun Bear Forest: new jungle exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

A hundred acres every minute: that's the rate at which the world is bulldozing and burning its tropical rain forests. But the San Diego Zoo is reversing that process, albeit at a slower pace: 1 1/2 acres in six months. The zoo's new equatorial rain-forest exhibit, Sun Bear Forest, offers a world of streams, waterfalls, 5,000 tropical plants, and the lingering smell of ginger in the air. Beneath the jungle canopy, you'll see five sun bears (at a mature weight of up to 1 50 pounds, the smallest species of bear; a black bear can grow to 600 pounds). You'll also see a troop of rare lion-tailed macaques (only 2,000 live in the wild) cavorting in a primate pleasure dome of climbing trees and rubber vines," and an aviary full of rare birds, including the remarkably named chestnut-backed scimitar-billed babbler. Sun Bear Forest is part of a S 1 50 million zoo redevelopment project that groups animals to more accurately duplicate their native ecosystems. A honey of a bear, a maned attraction The sun bear, native to Southeast Asia, gets its name from the golden crescent on its chest. Thanks to one of its favorite foods, it's also known as a honey bear. Their innocuous monicker, small size, and playful demeanor aside, these animals can be aggressive. Although initially timid in their new surroundings, the five young bears have since embarked on an ursine garden remodel of sorts, destroying an artificial tree, damaging four real ones, and ripping up sod in the enclosure. The macaque is a monkey native to southern India's mountain forests. Part of the world's largest captive colony, the seven macaques on display form a breeding group six females and one male (named, appropriately, Leo). The zoo's collection also includes 32 more monkeys--which are not on display. The zoo, in Balboa Park, is open 9 to 5 daily (grounds are open until 6). Admission is $10.75 for adults, $4 for ages 3 through 15. 11
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Date:Jun 1, 1990
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