Moon bears, otherwise known as Asiatic black bears, are incredibly beautiful and have a white v-shaped flash across the front of their chests, along with shaggy black fur and adorable faces (https://www.bornfree.org.uk/animals/moon-bears). It’s estimated that there’s somewhere between 15,000 and 46,000 in population which is a little vague but their numbers are hard to track as they’re nocturnal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_black_bear). Illegal poaching for use of moon bear bile in Asian medicines, along with habitat loss caused by logging and expansion of human settlements has affected their population, which is why they’re now listed as ‘vulnerable’ by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (http://wwf.panda.org/our_work/wildlife/profiles/mammals/asiatic_black_bear/).
Over the weekend we created our own moon bear whom my daughter named Rainbow Sparkle Banana Lizzie. I asked her whether she thought these bears might come out to play during the day time or night time? She pondered for a while and said, 'Must be night time with the flash of light on their fronts. Perhaps it helps them see in the dark.' Not so sure that's true, but it's a lovely thought. I sketched this and my best girl drew the feet and enjoyed using charcoal for the first time whilst learning about moon bear conservation.
The next time you buy wood or wooden products, if you check that the wood comes from sustainable sources you'd be helping moon bears by reducing unregulated and illegal logging, which destroys vital habitats not only for moon bears, but for all endangered forest dwelling species as well (http://wwf.panda.org/our_work/wildlife/profiles/mammals/asiatic_black_bear/).