Fun Himalayan Brown Bear Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 04, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Himalayan brown bear facts will leave you in awe of the wildlife of the Himalayas.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.1 Min

If the mention of the Himalayas conjures up images of mighty snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, and snaking rivers, wait until you read about this endangered species of brown bears that are a crucial part of the alpine wildlife and are known for their winter hibernation!

The Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) is a subspecies of brown bear with a population that ranges throughout the states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim in India, the Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, west China, north Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and parts of Kazakhstan.

Exclusive to the high altitude ranges of the Himalayas, this subspecies of the brown bear is sandy to reddish-brown with a thick coat of fur to protect against the chilling temperature. They are omnivores, feeding on insects, small mammals, fruits, and berries.

Even though Himalayan brown bears look eerily similar to the grizzlies and the Kodaks, the former are comparatively smaller than their North American cousins.

Read on to know more about the Himalayan brown bear population, their habitats, conservation status, feeding behavior, and more! If you like what you read, do check out facts about the polar bear and the sun bear too.

Himalayan Brown Bear Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Himalayan brown bear?

The Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) is a subspecies of brown bear with populations confined to the Himalayan region.

What class of animal does a Himalayan brown bear belong to?

Himalayan brown bears belong to the class of mammals.

How many Himalayan brown bears are there in the world?

The global population size of the Himalayan brown bears is likely to be 1,000 or even fewer individuals.

Where does a Himalayan brown bear live?

The habitat of Himalayan bear populations in the wild is confined to the alpine, sub-alpine, rolling uplands, barren regions, and glacial moraines of the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions.

What is a Himalayan brown bear's habitat?

The geographical range of the Himalayan brown bear spans northern India, northern Pakistan, western China, the Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. In India, their approximate distribution range is about 3,680,000 ha (36,800 sq.

km), divided between the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh and the upper northwestern parts of the western Himalayan region. Out of the total habitat range, only 10% of the area falls within protected areas.

Who do Himalayan brown bears live with?

Himalayan brown bears are solitary creatures, except during mating or for females rearing cubs. These high-altitude wild animals hibernate in and around October and emerge from slumber in April or May when the hibernation period ends. They hibernate in dens or caves.

How long does a Himalayan brown bear live?

Himalayan brown bears have a lifespan of 25-30 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season of the Himalayan brown bear species spans from May to June. A female brown bear may mate with multiple males.

After a gestation period of around six to eight weeks, the bear cubs are born in the winter in December and January. Each litter generally comprises two to three offspring that are born blind and naked. The cubs are weaned at about 18-30 months and become independent by two to three years old.

Until then, the young remain in the care of their mother. Males are not involved in parental care.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reports the current status of the Himalayan brown bear population as Critically Endangered, with rapidly dwindling populations in India and elsewhere within its habitat range.

Himalayan Brown Bear Fun Facts

What do Himalayan brown bears look like?

Brown bears of the Himalayan region have a large build with a reddish-brown or sandy color fur coat. The body is heavy, the legs are stocky, and the head is quite large with the usual bear muzzle. These bears are the largest animals among all Himalayan wildlife.

The face of a bear.

How cute are they?

There is no doubt, all species of brown bears can remind you of your cute and fluffy teddy bear soft toy. However, do not be fooled by this apparent cuteness, for these bears can be pretty aggressive when bothered!

How do they communicate?

All species of brown bears, including the Himalayan brown bear, have a keen sense of smell and hearing. They also communicate via sounds and are often heard moaning while looking for food. Scratching and rubbing on trees and other objects are common ways for these bears to establish territorial boundaries.

How big is a Himalayan brown bear?

Himalayan brown bear males are about 5-7 ft (1.5-2.2 m) long, and females are smaller, measuring between 4.5-6 ft (1.37-1.83 m) in length. These bears are slightly smaller than the North American grizzlies.

How fast can a Himalayan brown bear run?

These bears can run at a speed of 30-40 mph (48-64 kph).

How much does a Himalayan brown bear weigh?

Males weigh around 287-1212.5 lb (130-550 kg), and females can be between 176-551 lb (80-250 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

All species of male bears are called boars, and the females are called sows.

What would you call a baby Himalayan brown bear?

All baby bears are called cubs.

What do they eat?

These bears' food comprises fruits and berries as well as insects and small mammals such as pikas, voles, and Himalayan marmots. Large mammals such as goats and sheep may also occasionally become a part of their food.

Are they poisonous?

No, these brown bears are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these are wild bears and not at all suitable for keeping as pets.

Did you know...

A Himalayan brown bear population is present in the Deosai National Park of Pakistan and the Great Himalayan National Park of Himachal Pradesh, India.

The Himalayan brown bear is Critically Endangered in the Hindu Kush and is believed to be extinct in Bhutan. They are helped out by some conservation efforts though; for example, they are listed in the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Are Himalayan brown bears dangerous?

These bears are considered to be more aggressive and dangerous than the North American grizzlies. However, much like Himalayan black bears, they usually shy away from humans and will not attack unless startled or agitated.

The population of the Himalayan brown bear

The global population size (spanning Nepal, Pakistan, and many other countries) of these bears is believed to be 1,000 or even fewer individuals, and almost half of that in India. Primary reasons for their declining population are habitat loss, poaching for fur, trade of body parts, killing by livestock herders, and the infamous baiting activities in Pakistan.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Kodiak bear facts and North American black bear facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Himalayan brown bear coloring pages.

india northern pakistan western china the tibetan plateau nepal tajikistan uzbekistan kyrgyzstan and kazakhstan

Get directions
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti Chaudhary picture

Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

Read full bio >