Himalayan Brown Bear
The Himalayan brown bear is a species of brown bear found in the Northern Himalayan mountain ranges. It is the largest carnivore in its habitat. Its population numbers have been on a constant downswing because of loss of habitat. Human persecution for their claws and fur is another important reason behind this bear’s falling numbers.
|Scientific Name||Ursus arctos isabellinus|
|Also Known As||Himalayan red bear, Dzu-Teh (Nepalese), Lal Bhalu (Hindi, Urdu), Isabelline bear|
|Description||Size: Males – 5 ft to 7 ft 3 in (1.5-2.2 m); Females – 4 ft 6 in to 6 ft (1.37m-1.83 m)
Weight: Males – 298 lb (135 kg); Females – 150 lb (70 kg)
Color: Reddish-brown to sandy
|Distribution||South-east Kazakhstan, Northern Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Northern India, Tibet, and Nepal|
|Habitat||Forests at high altitudes, alpine meadow|
|Communication||Growls, woofs, roars, smacks, and champs to express aggression; bawls, grunts, and woofs to express nervousness; females sometimes hum or bleat to communicate with their cubs|
|Lifespan||Wild: 20-30 years; Captivity: 50 years|
|Diet||Omnivorous; sheep, goats, insects, roots, grasses, fruits, and berries|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Critically Endangered|
Himalayan brown bears are mostly active throughout the day, but have their meals in the morning and evening, and spend the rest of the day mostly in thick vegetation. They are solitary, but the territories between two Himalayan brown bears have been seen to overlap. They are one of the most terrestrial of bears.
Mating & Reproduction
Estrus for female Himalayan brown bears lasts for around 10-30 day during which time they copulate with males. The mating season occurs in spring and early summer, and after a gestation period of 180-250 days, a litter of two cubs is born.
Cubs are born blind and weigh less than a pound. They stay in their mother’s lair and wait until she wakes from her hibernation before coming out. They remain in their mother’s company for the first 2-3 years of their lives. They become sexually mature at around 4.5 years of age.
- The Yeti legend is believed to have originated from the Himalayan black bear.
- It is one of the animals that can be hunted in the open-world game Far Cry 4.
- Historically, this bear used to inhabit Bhutan as well but has been extirpated from that country.
- There is an estimated population of 150-200 individuals in Pakistan.