Asian Black Bear
Boreal and temperate mixed forests
IUCN conservation status
Closely related to the American black bear, they stand out because of the crescent of cream-coloured fur on their chest.
A Diet Reflecting the Seasons
They can eat just about anything, so they'll enjoy each season's offerings and the availability of resources: fruit, berries, tubers, plants, larvae, insects, seeds, eggs, fish, indeed everything! If they feed almost day and night until the end of the summer, they gradually stop eating in October to dig their dens and spend the winter there.
Powerful Animals despite Their Apparent Bulk
Despite their appearance, these ursids are capable of surprising speeds: they can run at almost 30 km/h. They're very muscular and climb with ease, which makes them ideal candidates for living in high places. These bears also have an exceptional sense of smell, being able to detect certain odours 1 km away.
Dedicated Mothers Fiercely Defending Their Cubs
Outside the breeding season, bears tend to avoid each other. In fact, strategic scent markings at the edge of the territory inform other bears of the presence of a fellow bear in the vicinity. Female bears are particularly cautious when accompanied by cubs: 40% of young bears are killed by adult males.
Affected by the Illegal Trade of Their Gallbladder
Bear populations in the wild are declining: 30% of their numbers have disappeared in the last 30 years. Bears in general, but this species in particular, are targeted by poachers for their gall bladder, which is believed to have particular virtues in traditional Asian medicine.