Big bad bears – “Legends, Conflicts and Mystery”
There are 4 species of bears in India. From the smallest in the world to one of the biggest. The Sun bear, Sloth bear, Moon/ Black Bear and the Himalayan Brown bear. Each of these species is threatened and is now either in direct conflict or has adapted to its shrinking world.
Brown Bears, the biggest of the four living in the greater Himalayan range, Brown bears had mostly kept themselves to high altitude grasslands and folk tales. Today changing climate and behaviour has brought them closer to human habitation than they had ever been before.
Sloth Bears, completely adapted to habitat loss, sloth bears easily shift between protected areas and visiting temples to be hand fed by devotees.
Moon Bears/Black Bears, affectionately called the ‘gardener of the forest’ in Kashmiri, black bears are at the centre of Human Animal conflict during harvest season. These species are threatened and are now either in direct conflict or have adapted to its shrinking world.
Sun Bears, the rarest,smallest and least understood. Sun bears remain hidden and mysterious in the forest of the North east of India.