The beruang rambai is described as a robust black-haired animal 4 foot high at the shoulder, 6 foot when standing upright. It has a "bullet-shaped" head atop a bull neck, and the hair on its limbs is 3 inches long. It walks on all fours, but will occasionally stand on its hind legs and beat its chest. It leaves human- and bear-like tracks.
Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 5th Earl of Cranbrook collected several accounts of the beruang rambai in the 1960's.
Explorer Leonard Clark, who also encountered the milne and reported the Murung River bear, saw a bali djakai (Lawangan: "demon") at a water hole in Borneo's central mountains in the 1930's.[Expansion needed] According to George Eberhart, it "picked up a helmet left behind, detected the scent of Clark and his guide, beat its chest, and disappeared into the bush".
Based on the accounts he received, the Earl of Cranbrook concluded that the beruang rambai was neither bear nor orangutan. George Eberhart lists only a misidentification of an orangutan or a sun bear as possible explanations, whilst noting that sun bears have short hair.