Asian black bears

La Cité des Immortels

Asian black bears

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In 2017, 3 Asian black bears from the 'African reserve' in Sigean, arrived in Pairi Daiza. We welcomed Cannelle (female) and het cubs Pako (male) and Phuket (male). 

The Asian black bear is also known as the white-chested bear,  because of the crescent-shaped stripe of white fur on its chest, in stark contrast with its black coat. It lives in forests in mountainous areas (notably the Himalayas), staying high up (3,000 metres) in summer and going down into the valleys to hibernate. It is an impressive animal: an adult male can reach up to two metres in height and can weigh 200 kg, while the female is smaller.

The Asian black bear is omnivorous but mainly vegetarian, feeding on fruit, nuts and roots. But it may also eat insects (bees and their honey), small mammals and birds, and even carrion. When it is starving, it may even eat livestock grazing in mountain pastures.

With its powerful forelegs and long claws, it is an excellent climber, able to scale tall trees and steep mountain slopes.

The species includes tens of thousands of specimens spread over a large geographical area. However, it is classified as “vulnerable” due to the deforestation of its habitat, hunting and capture in order to harvest its bile, which is meant to have healing properties and is therefore used in traditional “medicine”. Here, in our garden, the bears have nothing to fear.

Asian black bears in image

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