Himalayan bear: photo, description, habitat and lifestyle of the animal

The Himalayan bear, whose photo adorns one of the stands in the Moscow Zoo, is a very interesting and popular animal, especially in the Far East. Such a bear is depicted on the coat of arms of Khabarovsk, and in the northern part of East China, he is one of the main characters of folk tales.

This type of bears has many names - black Ussuri, Asian, white-breasted and, of course, Himalayan. There are several subspecies with minor differences. Officially, these animals belong to the genus of bears - Ursus. But many zoologists distinguish them into a separate genus - Selenarctos, which in Russian means "moon bear". This name is very suitable for the appearance of animals and accurately describes their habits.

How do they look?

The Himalayan bear is outwardly unusual and utterly charming.These bears are half the size of brown forest owners that we are used to. With a fairly tiny dimensions, these bears are distinguished by rounded shapes. They look like good-natured fur loungers. No wonder because the Chinese compare them with dumplings.

Himalayans on vacation

The muzzle of these bears constantly changes its expression, animals show emotions almost like a human being. This feature is due to their sharp nose and large round ears protruding obliquely from the corners of the eyes. If you connect the tip of the nose, the corners of your eyes and ears with lines, you will get a neat, tall triangle.

How small are they?

When describing the Himalayan bear, almost always indicate small dimensions compared to other predators from this family.

On average, the size of male Himalayans is as follows:

  • body length - from 1.5 to 1.7 m;
  • height at withers - about 80 cm;
  • weight - 120 - 140 kg.

Females are much smaller.

Are they only black?

Himalayan bear is not one hundred percent brunet. His short shiny fur always has some shade. In addition to black, the Himalayans are found dark brown and dirty red.

Bear can be red

Each of them has a white or yellow "tie" on the chest.The spot is shaped like an incomplete moon. This made it possible to call him a "moon bear."


Where the Himalayan bear lives, you can understand, starting from the name of the animal.

Whitechest louder can be seen:

  • in the north and east of China;
  • in the Primorsky District, in Altai, in the Khabarovsk Territory;
  • in North Korea;
  • in Pakistan, partly in Afghanistan and Iran.

Such bears also live on the territory of the northern islands of Japan, and, of course, in the Himalayas.

Do they live in captivity?

Himalayan bear feels great in captivity. To see this, it is enough to visit the zoo. There are Himalayans in almost everyone. Next to their enclosures it is always crowded - animals are quite amusing and photogenic.

How are they helpful to man?

In addition to zoos, Himalayans live on bear farms. There they are not only kept, but also bred. The main purpose of breeding - extraction of bear bile. This extract is extracted from the gallbladder of the animal. Its main chemical component is ursodeoxycholic acid. Bear bile is the main ingredient in many traditional medicines.

Unfortunately, even the humane modern way of its fence (without killing an animal) affects the health of the bear and the duration of its life. Farm dwellers live no more than 5 years.

Bear farms are not only in Russia, but also in other countries:

  • China;
  • Burma;
  • North and South Korea;
  • Laos;
  • Vietnam

Many community organizations oppose animal cruelty on bear farms. However, bear farms are the main suppliers of medicinal raw materials in Asia and the East. Bile of bears is used not only in traditional medicine, but also in pharmaceutical enterprises.

How do they live in nature?

The lifestyle of Himalayan bears is different from other species of these animals. "Moon bears" prefer to spend most of their time in the trees. They especially love old lindens and large poplars. Even in hibernation Himalayans are stacked in large tree hollows, and they like to take a nap.

Trees serve the Himalayans not only as a cozy home for the winter and a place where you can take a nap. Here white-breasted people are saved both from midges (midges) and from their enemies:

  • brown bears;
  • tigers;
  • wolves.

With a man at a bear relationship is complicated. Although there are occasional reports in the press about attacks on people, their image in fairy tales is rather peaceful.Yes, and watching the habits of animals in the zoo, we can note many qualities, but not aggression.

But one should not forget that even such a cute and kind-looking Himalayan remains, first of all, a wild beast, which is fully capable of protecting both its territory and itself from any outside threat, including from human presence .

What do they eat?

Food more than half consists of plant foods. The basis of their daily diet are:

  • acorns;
  • nuts;
  • seeds;
  • berries;
  • shoots of shrubs;
  • herbs;
  • succulent rhizomes and bulbs.
Bears love carrots

There is a folk Chinese tale that tells how a bear went to a peasant in a vegetable garden and dragged vegetables from there. Such a plot is not so fantastic. For example, in the Moscow Zoo, a bear eats carrots and cabbages with pleasure, invariably causing delight and affection from the public watching the feeding.

Do not forget these bears and the protein component in their diet. They often regale:

  • ants;
  • frogs;
  • small fish.

These bears do not like to hunt, but with pleasure they eat up the remains of someone else's prey.

What is the difference between bear-gubach?

The Himalayan Guba Bear is a separate species. Externally, these animals are very similar to "moon bears." However, the sponge is smaller and much more shaggy.

Gouge Bear with Shaggy Wool

Bears inhabit India, Ceylon. Gubach, as well as white-breasted, lives well in captivity. There are those in the Moscow Zoo.

Distinguished gubachy from "moon bears" and dietary preferences. Shaggy inhabitants of Indian forests prefer to feast on insects, ants use their special gastronomic love. The structure of the lips of these bears makes the prey of ant clutches very easy. Because of the slightly elongated shape of the lips, like a pipe, bears and got that name.

How long do the Himalayan bears live?

The average lifespan of "moon bears" is 25 years. In favorable conditions, as well as in zoos, bears can live up to 35 years.

The mating season for these animals begins at the beginning of summer. A bear gives birth to one or a couple of young, each weighing less than 500 g. Toddlers grow slowly, even at one month of age, they are completely helpless. The Himalayan matures only by the age of two, as a rule, not all live to this age.

Bear cubs grow long

These bears have long been listed in the Red Book.However, they are not recognized as a vulnerable or endangered species, that is, hunting for these animals is allowed, although it is limited.

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