Today we would like to introduce you to Arya Stark, no not the one played by Maisie Williams even though we love her too, but the sun bear cub from Cambodia. Arya was found alone after her mother was killed. According to The Dodo, she was taken to a sanctuary called Free the Bears were she was referred to by the number 193. Known for her especially feisty spirit, 193 was given the appellation Arya Stark. At just under 9.9 pounds, she was the smallest bear there. In the past three bear generations, there has been a 30 percent decline in the sun bear population. Sun bears are considered valuable as pets and for traditional medicine in the world of illegal wildlife trade but awareness can help bring these cruel practices to a stop. And now, here’s a look at a special photoshoot of Arya made possible by renowned photographer Alex Cearns and Free the Bears.The sun bear, also known as the honey bear, is a vulnerable species that can be found in the forests of Southeast Asia. They are called ‘basindo nan tenggil’ in Malay which translates as ‘he who likes to sit high.’
They typically have jet black, brown, or red fur, and each one bears a distinct crescent marking around their neck. They are the smallest bear species.
It wasn’t long until Arya met photographer Alex Cearns. Cearns has been a regular visitor to several Free The Bears sanctuaries. ABC 13 Houston noted that her ‘wide-eyed expressions and confident poses’ are comparable to Ben Stiller’s portrayal as Derek Zoolander.
When Cearns first saw Arya, she completely fell in love and decided to put together a playful photo shoot. Turns out that Arya was more than ready to pose for the camera.
At just 9.9 pounds, the tiny bear appears to be laughing and dancing, spreading not just joy but also a message to those seeking to use her species for trade: ‘leave us alone!’
While she is in care and recovery at a Free the Bears sanctuary, we hope she receives plenty of love and honey. Special thanks to Cearns for capturing these heartfelt moments!