Asian Black Bear

(Ursus thibetanus)




Facts about this animal

The Asiatic Black Bear has a coat of smooth black fur and can be distinguished from other animals by the white characteristic V-form stain on the breast. Average length is 1,2-1,8 meters . Weight is different between the sexes: adult females weight about 65 bis 90 kg, while adult males can reach a weight between 110 and 150 kg.

Did you know?
that, in Viet Nam and China, about 13'000 Asian black bears are kept in small cages for the extraction of bile from their gall bladder for the purposes of traditional oriental medicine? Bile is extracted through a cut made in the bear's belly and into the gall bladder. A tube is inserted into this opening to tap the bile, or a steel stick is forced into the gall bladder with the bile then running down it into a basin. Between 10 and 20 ml of bile is tapped from each bear twice daily.


Name (Scientific) Ursus thibetanus
Name (English) Asian Black Bear
Name (French) Ours noir d'Asie ou Ours à collier, Ours de l'Himalaya, Ours du Tibet
Name (German) Kragenbär
Name (Spanish) Oso de collar, Oso negro de Asia
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Valerie Abbott



Range Southern Asia, northeastern China, far eastern Russia, and Japan
Habitat Tropical rainforests, temperate broadleaf forests, and tropical monsoon and dry forests, particularly in hill and mountainous regions.
Wild population Unknown, no reliable population estimates exist.
Zoo population 94 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Asian Black Bear


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 72 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The Asiatic Black Bear is rated Vulnerable by IUCN and is listed in Appendix I of CITES. Zoos in North America and Europe therefore undertake to maintain self-sustaining ex situ populations under a species management programme /regional studbook respectively.


All large bears are very popular with the public and of major educational interest.


Zoos within the species' range may also keep Asiatic black bears for animal welfare reasons as they may take care of illegally caught pets or bears rescued from bear bile farms.