Asiatic Black Bear
The Asiatic Black Bear, also known as Ursus thibetanus,
the Tibetan black bear, the Himalayan black bear, or
the moon bear, is a medium sized, sharp-clawed, black-colored
bear. These have a distinct white or cream "V"
marking on the chest, for which it is referred to as
moon bear in some areas. Asiatic Black Bears can be
found in hilly and mountainous forests and the distribution
has a wide range spreading from the east to the west
of Asian Continent. These are found in the areas of
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan,
Burma, Southern Siberia in Russia, Northeastern China,
Taiwan, and Japan.
Asiatic Black Bear’s size differs among males
and females, as the weight of males ranges between 110
to 150 kg, while it is between 65 to 90 kg in females.
The length ranges from 120 to 180 cm from head to tail,
while the tail is short and falls between 6.5 to 10.6
cm, and is barely visible under a long, coarse coat.
The head of Asiatic Black Bear is large and rounded.
The ears are large while the eyes are small.
All the social and reproductive information is collected
on the basis of their behavior in zoos, as a little
is known about the wild life behavior. As it is not
known for sure that what the breeding interval in Asiatic
Black Bear is; however, it is believed that it could
be every 2 to 3 years, as the cubs stay with their mothers
for about 2 to 3 years. The breeding time is in late
summer, i.e., from June to October, and on an average
two cubs are born in a litter. Asiatic black bear is
able for reproduction at an age of 3 to 4 years, while
the total gestation period takes 7 to 8 months.
Asiatic black bears spends around half of the time
in the trees preparing platforms upon which the bear
rest or feed. These are fairly solitary animals. In
some places these may go into hibernation to survive
the cold winters, i.e., in a den or a cave, and in some
parts these migrate to warmer areas so as to avoid the
need for hibernation. The hibernation period is sustained
with the fat stored during summers.
Asiatic black bears are primarily nocturnal feeders,
and sleep in a tree hole or in a cave during the daytime,
and the nocturnal activity increases during autumn.
They are powerful swimmers, and also are adept tree-climbers
due to their short claws. They walk mostly on the four
feet, but during fight they use the forepaws to slap
the enemy while standing on the hind legs. They also
avoid man, and attacks only in case of protection for
the young cubs or wounded.
The territories of Asiatic Black Bear vary greatly,
from around 6.4 or 9.7 sq. kms to around 16.4 or 36.5
sq. kms. The territorial range largely depends upon
the availability of food, i.e., the denser available
supply of food results in the smaller range.
Asiatic Bear Conservation Action Plan
For more information on the bear gall bladder demand
Animal Diversity Web