Asiatic Black Bear (Selenarctos thibetanus)

Bear Facts

Photo courtesy of Animals Asia

  • Threatened by habitat destruction and being hunted for their gall bladders and body parts.
  • Thousands are kept in coffin sized cages in ‘Bear Farms’ in China and Vietnam where they endure the excruciating process of being milked for their bile on a daily basis. The bile is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine despite the fact it can be man-made.
  • They are used as dancing bears and for the barbaric blood sport of bear baiting in Pakistan.
  • They have a distinct crescent shaped marking on their chest which gives the bear its more commonly used name of Moon Bear.
  • Also known as the Tibetan Black Bear or Himalayan Black Bear.
  • Strong swimmer and excellent tree climber.
  • Found over a wide area of southern Asia.
  • Lifespan in the wild is around 25 years.
  • Cubs stay with their mothers for 2-3 years.
  • CITES Appendix I.