The Asiatic Black Bear (also referred to as the Asian Black Bear, Moon Bear and White-Chested Bear) is a medium-sized bear native to Asia. They are characterized by their light brown muzzle and a white v-shaped patch on their chest.
Current populations are found in Asia, Japan, and parts of Russia.
- Asiatic black bears are omnivores that eat insects such as termites, bees, and beetle larvae. They also enjoy vegetation, such as mushrooms, grasses, fruits, nuts, honey, herbs and acorns.
- The Asiatic Black Bear has a lifespan of 15-20 years in the wild. However, it can live for about 30 years in captivity.
- While fossils indicate that Asiatic Black Bears once roamed western Europe, their current population is limited to Europe.
- The Asiatic Black bear is currently endangered and vulnerable to extinction in the wild. Their biggest threats are deforestation for the timber industry and poaching. Hunters poach these bears for their skin and gallbladders. Their bile has been used for medicinal purposes, and China recently approved a massive Asian Bear slaughter in an attempt to treat Coronavirus.
- Asiatic Black Bears are considered the most bipedal of all the bears, meaning they can stand and walk on their hind legs.
- While these bears are solitary, you may find them in family groups consisting of two adults and a few cubs.
- Asian Black Bears are diurnal but become more nocturnal if they live near humans.
- These bears spend almost half their lives in trees! Therefore, their upper body is significantly stronger than their lower body. In fact, an Asiatic Black Bear can still climb a tree even if its back legs are broken.