Asian Black Bear

Asian Black Bear/Moon Bear     Ursus thibetanus

Type of Animal:

Deciduous forest, brushland, mountains, mountain forest, mixed forest, desert, thornbrush forest, coniferous forest, broadleaf forest, tropical forest, subtropical forest, temperate forest

Himalayas, Indochina, Kashmir, India, Japan, Taiwan, Nepal, China, Korea, S.E. Siberia

Also called “Moon Bear” due to white v-shaped chest mark, male has more prominent mane than female & is larger, bell-shaped ears, one of the larger Asian bears.

Ants, termites, beetles, bees, wasps, other insects, insect larvae, spiders, grubs, worms, carrion, refuse, eggs, fungi, nuts, grasses, fruit, honey, herbs, seeds, acorns, cherries, dogwood, grains, bamboo, grapes, berries, monkeys, deer, muntjac, goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, water buffalo, roots, corn, rice, equids, fish, birds especially gamebirds/poultry, rodents, buds, tubers, veggies, mollusks, rabbits, hares, pikas, foxes, otters, & tiger cubs. Males often prey on cubs of own species, brown bear cubs, sloth bear cubs, sun bear cubs & panda cubs. Rare cases of man-eating bears.

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks. Rescue centers for bile bears.

Solitary, though male-female pairs & sibling groups sometimes seen

Additional Info:


Male-220-440 lbs
Female-110-275 lbs
Young-15 lbs

6-8 months

Male-4.5-6 ft
Female-4-5.5 ft

Body Length:
Male-4.5-6 ft
Female-4-5.5 ft

Life Span: 
20-25 years in wild, up to 35 years in captivity

Tail Length:
2.4-3.6 in, same for both sexes

Only predators of adults are tigers. Cubs preyed on by male black bears, male brown bears, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, wolves, dholes, large pythons, & lynxes.

Threatened due to logging, habitat loss, persecution as livestock killer/crop pest, poaching for gall bladders/paws used in traditional medicine, fur & meat, bear bile farming, killing of mothers so cubs can be sold as pets and/or for bear baiting/dancing/circuses, hunting for sport, & climate change.

Bear bile farming most popular in China/Vietnam receives controversy due to cruel treatment of bears & cramped conditions. Rescue centers have been established to take in bile bears.

Fights for territory & mates often deadly.

Cubs stay w/ mom for 2-3 years.

Associated w/ mountain spirits in Japanese culture.

They’re known to be excellent climbers.

Fun Fact(s):
These bears known to be very unpredictable. Females w/ cubs, hungry bears, & wounded bears especially dangerous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *