All About the Asiatic Black Bear

There are eight main species of bear in the world.

Of these, there are several subspecies, including the Asiatic black bear. This bear is in danger and requires attention.

What You Should Know

The Asiatic black bear lives in forested areas and prefers mountains or hills. During the summer, it lives at altitudes over 10,000 feet and then descends into the lower elevation during cold months. In Russia, their home range measures four to eight square miles. The majority of these bears are nocturnal and little is known about their social organization.

Asiatic black bears feed on many foods, including bee’s nests, invertebrates, fruits, small vertebrates, and insects. Occasionally, they will kill domestic livestock, but it’s not common.

What Sound Do They Make?

There isn’t enough research to understand all of the communication between Asiatic black bears. It’s clear to see that there are often dominant and subordinate bears, in relation to one another. When a bear is subordinate, it will move away from the other, lie down or sit. A dominant bear walks or runs toward its rival.

Bears tend to communicate through smell. They urinate, defecate and rub themselves on trees so other bears smell their scent.

You can listen to some of the standard black bear sounds with this YouTube video.

Group Characteristics

Just like with all bear species, the Asiatic black bear is a solitary animal. It only joins with another if it’s mating or trying to compete for territory. It has smaller claws but is capable of climbing quickly. It spends the majority of its time up in the trees while hunting small animals.

Asiatic black bears breed starting when they are four to five years old. They mate during the warmer months and have a gestation period of six to eight months. They produce one to four cubs at a time in early spring. The cubs are born hairless and must rely on the warmth from the mother. Once they are six months old, the cub is weaned. They will remain with their mother until about three years old. The typical Asiatic black bear lives up to 30 years old in captivity and about 25 years old in the wild.

How Many are There?

The Asiatic black bear is listed as vulnerable from the IUCN. It faces numerous dangers including the harvesting of crops, livestock farming, production of roads, hunting and water management. Natural predators include tigers. The majority of Asiatic black bears won’t need to worry much about predators because of its size, but the cubs are at risk.

Watch a Video

In the first video, you can learn some new facts about the Asiatic black bear.

The second video teaches the difference between the Asiatic and American black bear.

Pop Culture

The Asiatic black bear played Peter “Claws” Ward in Asian Animals, Inc. as well as Heimlich in An Asian Animal’s Life. This widespread species is often on display at various zoos across the country.

Interesting Facts

The Asiatic black bear reaches up to 75 inches long and weighs up to 440 pounds. It features a shaggy, black coat and has a white crescent-shaped mark on its chest. That’s why it gets the nickname “Moon Bear.” The muzzle contains light-brown fur while the neck area showcases a mane.

The Asiatic black bear has a rounded, large head as well as bigger ears and a snout. It can walk on either two or four legs with ease. On two legs, it will travel up to a ΒΌ-mile without a problem. Sometimes, it uses this posture to intimidate a predator or competitor.