Himalayan Black Bear
The Himalayan Black Bear is also known as the Asiatic Black Bear, the Tibetan Black Bear or the Moon Bear. It is a medium sized sharp clawed black coloured bear. It has a distinctive white or cream V marking on its chest. It is closely related to the American Black Bear.
The Asiatic Black Bear has a wide distribution range spanning from the east to west of the Asian continent. This bear can be found in the forests of hilly and mountainous areas in East Asia and South Asia, including South Korea, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Burma, southern Siberia in Russia, northeastern China, Taiwan and Japan.
I found it very sad to observe the bear shown in the photo above on display in the Central Zoo in Kathmandu. Its cage was rather small and very uninteresting to the bear who was constantly on the move, obviously very bored with its enclosure. At least Australian zoos try to display this species in large airy enclosures that try to simulate its normal habitat. The keepers here also go to great lengths to keep the animals stimulated in many ways.
In today’s more enlightened world there is no excuse for displaying animals in the way shown in Kathmandu.