The Tibetan blue bear is one of the rarest bear subspecies in the world. It is also known as the Tibetan brown bear,
Horse bear, Himalayan blue bear, Himalayan snow bear, yak dhom (yak bear), and iha dhom (mountain bear). This brown
bear subspecies Ursus arctos pruinosus was first classified in 1854 by English zoologist
Edward Blyth. It is thought by some to be the source of the
The Tibetan blue bear is found in the alpine regions of eastern Tibet, western China, Nepal, and seldom in Bhutan.
It is known to live in high altitudes close to the tree line. Human settlement
has caused a great reduction in the bears' habitat and decline in its number.
Tibetan blue bears are black, often having a tinge of blue which is how its name derived. They often have a
beigish collar and chest. It is common for their face to be a reddish yellow. Young bears are usually paler
in color. A full grown male is 6 to 7 feet in length. Its shoulder width is roughly 3 feet.
Because of the Tibetan bear's rarity, its actual status is not known. It has been listed on the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as a protected species. It is believed by many to be extinct
in the wild.