A video of a bear at a Chinese zoo has gone viral in recent days, as debate rages over whether the animal is in fact a human wearing a costume.
Originally released last Friday, the video shows a bear standing on its hind legs inside its enclosure at Hangzhou Zoo in Zhejiang province as visitors looked on.
Due to the bear's humanlike stance and folds of loose skin on its lower back, people online have questioned the animal's authenticity.
The zoo responded in a light-hearted manner, with Reuters reporting that it had posted a statement on WeChat role-playing as the bear.
“Yesterday, after I got off work, I received a call from the director, asking me if I was lazy and did not go to work, and had hired a two-legged animal to replace me,” it read.
“Some people think I stand like a person. It seems you don’t understand me very well.”
Zookeepers told the local newspaper Hangzhou Daily that the sun bear, which comes from Malaysia, is smaller than other bears and has a different appearance.
Sun bears, which are the smallest bears in the world, are only about the size of a large dog.
It added that local temperatures, which have reached almost 34°C in recent days, would make any bear costume-wearing human extremely uncomfortable.