Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asiatic black bear spotted in Cambodia’s protected areas

Asiatic black bear spotted in Cambodia’s protected areas

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Asiatic black bears forage in a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia on March 13. Environment Ministry

Asiatic black bear spotted in Cambodia’s protected areas

The rare and endangered Asiatic black bear (Ursusthibetanus) has been spotted in Cambodia’s protected areas, according to the Ministry of Environment. The bear species is present in several different regions including East, South and Southeast Asia.

According to the ministry’s publication on July 1, Asiatic black bears live in many forest types such as dense, semi-dense and mixed forests.

In Cambodia, the bears are present in protected areas in the northeast, east, north and southwest, and in Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Pursat, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces. The bears are a diverse species of predators and are omnivores.

The ministry said the bears start breeding at the age of 4-5 and usually breed between June and July, giving birth during November to March, and typically have to two cubs at a time. The bears can live up to 30 years.

The bears are threatened by a number of factors, including habitat loss, hunting, and illegal wildlife trade for live bears and animal parts.

However, ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on July 1 that Cambodia had not yet received a report on the number of bears.

Pheaktra said that in the past, Cambodia has found Large-antlered muntjacor (Muntiacus vuquangensis), Giant manta (Muntiacusvuquangensis), Golden yellow tigers, and Asiatic black bears which are rare species, all of which will be the basis of a research study and for a group of officials specialising in the division of protected areas.

“Asiatic black bears are declining in numbers due to habitat loss, lack of foraging sites and hunting for commercial specimens. Asiatic black bears are found in Cambodia in dense and semi-dense forest habitats,” he said.

According to Pheaktra, this large bear species is also present in Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, northern Laos and Vietnam. These are among the largest of bears.

The body is covered with long, thick, brown hair and has a light yellow V-shaped stripe across its chest. The ears are larger than those of a small bear, and has a head 1,200 to 1,500mm in length with males weighing 110kg to 150kg.

The females weigh 65kg to 90kg with feet shaped like a human foot.

Ken Serey Rotha, Wildlife Conservation Society country director, welcomed the discovery of the rare and endangered bear species, which confirmed the effectiveness of conservation in Cambodia.

However, Serey Rotha also requested that the Asiatic black bear habitat be monitored because although it is still extensive, some habitat is under pressure forcing bears to move into protected areas. Protection should also be increased, along with strict law enforcement as this information will also pique the interest of hunters.


  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Struggling Battambang artist dreams of staging full-scale gallery exhibition

    Leav Kimchhoth, a 55-year-old artist from Battambang province, is a familiar face to locals and tourists alike on the streets of the riverside in Phnom Penh. The one-armed painter and illustrator often hawks his work near the night market on weekends and public holidays. He

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • New Law on Taxation comes into effect

    Cambodia has enacted the eagerly-awaited new Law on Taxation, which aims to improve the national tax regime’s compliance with present and future international standards and economic conditions; encourage accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the collection process; and promote investment in the Kingdom. King Norodom