Return of the ‘human bears’! Zoo in Taiwan denies its prized black bears are ‘staff in costumes’ after similar suspicions were raised about animals at Chinese wildlife park

A zoo in Taiwan has been forced to deny that its prized black bears are ‘costumed staff’ after a humanoid furry mammal walked by and appeared to greet delighted visitors.

Visitors to the Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung couldn’t believe their eyes when they were approached by the black bear, named Bobby.

The curious creature was caught on camera hopping over a log and standing on its hind legs as it looked up from its enclosure at waving passers-by.

Some suggested its steadiness on two feet and comparable height to a human suggested it was a person in costume, but the zoo rejected the speculation, saying anyone in a furry suit would be ‘too hot’ in the high temperatures.

It comes after similar suspicions were raised about bears at a Chinese zoo last year, sparking a furious online row over whether they were people in bear suits or the real deal.

Some have suggested that its steadiness on two feet and comparable height to a human suggests that it is a person in costume

Some have suggested that its steadiness on two feet and comparable height to a human suggests that it is a person in costume

The curious creature was caught on camera hopping over a log before standing on its hind legs

The curious creature was caught on camera hopping over a log before standing on its hind legs

The latest video of a humanoid bear, filmed in Taiwan yesterday, has also sparked a huge reaction, with many joking that the zoo is ‘overworking students’ with work experience.

According to the zoo, Bobby also sparked controversy in 2016 when locals first started suggesting he was actually a human in costume.

However, the zoo clarified that Taiwanese black bears can stand upright in the wild.

At the time, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Ju also weighed in to confirm that the animals at Shoushan Zoo are real and not students.

In a revisit to the popular debate, locals joked that Bobby looked more like a worker in costume than a real black bear.

One said: ‘It walks so steadily on two feet, must be a working student.’

Another added: ‘It stands like a human. His height is about 6 feet.’

“Shoushan Zoo are such outrageous, overworked students,” someone else joked.

Another commented: ‘Stop pretending. Take off the costume.’

A spokesperson for Shoushan Zoo denied that their bear was fake, saying: ‘If a person did wear a bear costume, they would be lying down in minutes due to the heat.’

Similar accusations were leveled at the Hangzhou Zoo in China last August, when a bear with bizarre wrinkled fur and skinny legs left people baffled as to whether it was human or animal.

Bobby, the Taiwanese black bear, is seen on all fours at the Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung

Bobby in the corner of his enclosure

Bobby, the Taiwanese black bear, is seen on all fours at the Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung

The zoo’s Malayan sun bear was filmed greeting visitors while standing on its hind legs.

Officials also claimed that in the 40C summer temperatures, a person in a fur suit ‘would not last more than a few minutes before collapsing’.

Extraordinary video shows the creature reaching up to catch a snack thrown into its enclosure at Hangzhou Zoo – and comically failing to stick to it.

The clearly resigned nature of the sun bear only added fuel to the theory that it was in fact a human in disguise. Other observers have pointed to a loose bottom, giving rise to theories that this is a very lifelike suit.

Sun bears are known for their human-like manners and are the size of large dogs, standing at most 1.3 meters tall on their hind legs.

Hangzhou Zoo said a person in a bear suit may have collapsed in the scorching summer heat

Hangzhou Zoo said a person in a bear suit may have collapsed in the scorching summer heat

Video showed the strange-looking bear standing on two legs looking for food

Video showed the strange-looking bear standing on two legs looking for food

Meanwhile, black bears can be anywhere between 5 and 7 feet while standing on their hind legs.

Other Chinese zoos have also been accused of trying to give away 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.

After complaints, the zoo reportedly said it was an April Fools’ prank.

In 2018, reports emerged suggesting that a zoo in Cairo tried to trick 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 visited the recently opened zoo at the International Garden municipal park.

A number of veterinarians in the country were quick to confirm that the animal was indeed a donkey.