Also known as the Asian black bear and the white-chested bear, the moon bear is a fairly small bear found throughout Asia that has adapted to living in trees. Unlike many other bear species, their body shape is more akin to prehistoric bears than it is to modern ones.
1. Scientific & Common Names
4. Present Status
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Ursidae
Genus – Ursus
Species – U. thibetanus
Common Names – Asiatic Black Bear, Moon Bear, White-chested Bear
Although moon bears avoid confrontation with humans, like most animals, they can still be very dangerous and are best studied with our figurines rather than up close! They resemble American black bears, but can be distinguished by the crescent-shaped white patch on their chest, which gives them their common name.
Pregnant moon bears enter hibernation. They give birth in hollowed out trees or cave dens, after a period of around 200 days. On average, the litter consists of two cubs.
Moon bears are active during the day, although in areas near humans they may adapt to night time activity. They spend much of their time in trees, and will even hibernate high above ground in hollowed out tree dens. They walk upright on two legs more than any other type of bear.
Although moon bears are classified as omnivores, they are predominantly more carnivorous than most other bear species. They primarily feed on things like larvae, termites, grubs, and bees, but have been known to also eat nuts, mushrooms, grasses, fruits, and seeds. Because they produce something called bear bile, which is sought after in many different Asian cultures, moon bears have been severely over hunted and are now classified as vulnerable on the conservation stats spectrum.
Moon bears are protected in China, Japan, Vietnam, India and Russia, though poaching is still a serious problem as their body parts are prized for use in traditional medicines.