Asian black bear

In Vietnam, these bears are caught, crammed into tiny cages, have their teeth removed to extract bile – sold as “medicine”

Dr. Raju Kasambe_04

Medium-sized, native to Asia, is an excellent tree climber and known to eat more than 160 tree-borne fruits.

Asiatic black bears are found in areas of thick vegetation on steep mountains and moist forests. Usually, they live at higher elevations in summer and only descend during the harsh cold winter months. They often use bipedal movement to make them look even larger when threatened or competing with other individuals.

The primary threat to its population is illegal hunting for its body parts, particularly the paws, skin, and gall bladder. This species also suffers from habitat loss due to logging, the development of human settlements, and the building of roads. Latest reports show that genetic diversity in several populations is also decreasing.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Bangladesh
2016
Bhutan
2016
Cambodia
2016
China
28,000
Official estimate
VU
2016
India
5,000-7,000
Official estimate
VU
2016
Iran
100-200
Official estimate
VU
2016
Japan
12,000-19,000
Official estimate
VU
2016
Korea
2016
Laos
2016
Myanmar
2016
Nepal
2016
North Korea
2016
Pakistan
1,000
Official estimate
VU
2016
Russia
5,000-7,000
Official estimate
VU
2016
Taiwan
2016
Thailand
2016
Vietnam
2016

Did you know?

  • Also known as moon bears, they are named for the crescent-shaped patch of white or yellow fur on their chest.
  • Asian black bears are highly intelligent and have been observed using tools, such as rocks, to break open food sources like hard-shelled nuts.
  • In some regions of Asia, particularly in Japan and Korea, the Asian black bear is considered a sacred animal and is featured prominently in folklore and traditional art.
  • They have a distinctive V-shaped white patch on their chest, which is often used to distinguish them from other bear species.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No