Strange creature spotted in Malaysia turns out to be ill sun bear
Sun bears, which call the tropical forests of Southeast Asia home, are the smallest known animals in the bear family.
Images and videos of an unusual looking sun bear in Malaysia have gone viral. Footage was captured after the bear wandered onto a plantation.
Workers on the property said the animal charged at them so they hit the bear until it fell unconscious. After the bear regained consciousness, the group chased it back into the woods and off the plantation grounds.
Wildlife activists quickly criticized the treatment of the bear because the one shown in the video looks like it is suffering from some kind of skin disease. Aside from that potential issue, the chief executive officer and founder of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre mentioned other possible problems.
He commented, "The bear may have been poisoned by pesticides or herbicides. They can also wind up sick due to a slow accumulation of toxic chemicals in their bodies."
The cause of the bear's ailment can't be confirmed until it's rescued and can undergo an examination. Sun bears are seldom studied, so not too much is known about the species. Their habitats are commonly destroyed by deforestation and sun bears are also often the targets of poachers.
More on AOL:
Bizarre mirages explain 'ghost ships' that scared sailors
Discovery of 'dragon' dinosaur in China could explain myths
New study sheds light on prehistoric diets