The Himalayan bear is also called the black Asian, white-chested and even moon bear. This name he received due to a characteristic white band on his chest, which is like a crescent moon or a flying bird. These bears live in Russia in the Far East, in Japan on the islands of Shikoku and Honshu, in the Himalayan mountains, Nepal and other areas located north of India.
This species is somewhat smaller than the black bears living in America. At the withers, the height of the Himalayan bear is from 70 cm to one meter, their body length is on the order of 120-190 cm. The weight of adult males is from 85 to 150 kg. Female is much smaller - on average they weigh 70-90 kg. The largest registered Himalayan bear weighed 225 kg.
These animals have a wonderful scent - much better than dogs. However, they can not boast of good eyesight and hearing.
The fur of the bears is pleasant to the touch, thick, short, soft, often black. In rare individuals, the color may be reddish-brown or dark-brown. On the chest there is a distinctive mark - a sickle-shaped white or pale yellow spot.
There are several subspecies of Himalayan bears. For example, in Korea, the Far East and northeast China, the Ussuri bear lives - the largest representative of the Himalayan family. In Japan, you can find a black Japanese bear, smaller. Its difference is that a white spot can be absent on the breast.
Reproduction and life expectancy of a bear
The breeding season for bears takes place in the summer months, from June to August. Pregnancy of the female lasts 7-8 months, and small cubs appear at the end of winter or early spring, when their mother is still dormant. Most often two cubs are born, less often one or three or four. A newborn bear cub weighs about 400 grams. They gain weight very slowly, and by the end of spring they reach only 2.5 kg. With respect to adults, bears become 2-3 years old, and puberty occurs after 3 years.
Females bring offspring not every year, their next pregnancy occurs only when the current children grow up and leave their home.
In natural conditions, a Himalayan bear usually lives a quarter of a century, and in captivity can live much longer - up to 45 years.
Nutrition and habits
These animals can create family groups, which includes two adults and cubs of several litters. Bears perfectly climb on rocks and trees. Almost half the life they spend on the branches of trees. They are omnivores. The basic diet consists of acorns, pine nuts, leaves. They like to get and eat insects from decaying trees. In the summer, bird cherry, pine cones, forest fruits and berries are looked for. In mountain streams they catch fish, not disdainful and dead, which is very much during spawning.
The Himalayan bear is a very strong and dexterous beast. He can attack even boars and buffaloes, breaking their necks with a powerful blow.
In the middle of autumn, bears are looking for a suitable place for hibernation. Usually they choose a hollow tree or cave. If in summer these animals can climb up the slopes up to 3-4 thousand above sea level, then for the winter they always go down and settle down at the foot of the mountains.
In nature, a Himalayan bear has only two serious enemies - it is its brown fellow and the Amur tiger. From time to time, conflicts with lynx and wolves may occur. But when the bear really mothers, becomes an adult, then those who want to join him in battle remain much less. In addition, he spends a lot of time on trees, and not every animal can get there.
The Himalayan bear is included in the Red Books of India, Japan and China. But in Russia he was struck out of the security book in 1991, and this species was again on the verge of destruction.
This animal can be seen in many foreign zoos. If in natural conditions Himalayan bears are considered quite dangerous, then in zoos grown there since childhood, they become quite peaceful and friendly. These bears are easily trained, so they can often be seen on the circus arena.