Southern Asia including Pakistan and Afghanistan, extending across northern India into China with isolated populations found in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and southeast Russia.
Asiatic black bears live in moist temperate forests in the hills and mountains of their range up to elevations of 9,900 feet in summer.
- They are four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half feet long (1.4-1.7 m) nose to tail.
- Males weigh 220-440 pounds (99-199 kg): females weigh 110-275 pounds (50-125 kg).
- These bears have a thick black coat with a purplish sheen in sunlight
- They have a characteristic white or cream-colored V-shaped crescent across their chest and can have white fur under their chin and lower lip
- They have a mane of long hair about six inches long around their face.
- Their ears are larger than other bear species.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Insects, honey, fruits, nuts, berries, small mammals, carrion and sometimes domestic livestock
At the zoo: Omnivore chow with fruits, vegetables and occasionally fish
What Eats It?
Humans kill Asiatic black bears for their gall bladders and other body parts used in traditional medicines. They may also be preyed upon, especially when young or old, by other top level predators, such as tigers, that live in the same habitat.
Asiatic black bears live and hunt alone except for mating pairs and females with cubs.
Bears reach sexual maturity at about three years of age. After summer mating, the development of the fetus may be delayed until food resources are optimal. After a gestation of seven to eight months one to three cubs are born in trees or caves. The blind, helpless cubs weigh about eight ounces (227 g) at birth. They open their eyes at about one month. By two months they will follow their mother to forage for food. The cubs stay with their mother until about two years of age when she will cast them away. The reported lifespan of the Asiatic black bear in the wild is about 24 years. In captivity, they can live as long as 33 years.