Species: U. thibetanus
Common Names: Asian Black Bear, Moon Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, White-chested Bear
Moon bears are active during the day and are noted for their tree climbing skill. They are omnivores, eating both plant and animal material, including insects and grubs, eggs, mushrooms, grass, roots and tubers, fruits, nuts and seeds, honey, and grain.
Moon bears do not hibernate like most other bears, except in the colder parts of their range.
Breeding among moon bears occurs in the summer months, with pregnancy lasting around 200 days. Litters contain as few as one cub, or as many as four. The cubs become independent around two to three years of age.
Moon bears are medium-sized for bears, growing just over six feet in length and measuring just over three feet at the shoulder. They can weigh over 300 pounds.
Compared to most other bears, they have larger ears and smaller heads in proportion to their body. Their fur is mostly black, with a distinctive white patch of fur shaped like a crescent or moon, which is where the name “moon bear” comes from.
Moon bears feature in the folklore of Japan, as a symbol of the mountain spirit. The bears also appear in Hindu mythology, assisting the god Rama in rescuing his wife Sita.
Moon bears are usually avoidant of humans, but are more aggressive than the black bears of America. Attacks, while rare, do happen.