Although classed as carnivores, bears are opportunists when it comes to food and generally omnivorous. Moon bears are omnivorous but prefer a vegetarian diet – mainly nuts in the autumn and fruit, leaves, berries, shoots and roots at other times – although they will eat carrion and hunt occasionally.
The bears at our sanctuaries are fed fruit, vegetables, nuts and dog biscuits. “Enrichment food” such as yoghurt, jam, honey and fermented tofu is also spread around the enclosures as “smears” to encourage the bears’ foraging instincts and to keep them busy and stimulated throughout the day – something that also helps prevent dominant and negative behaviour.
Moon bears are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) and love to sleep in trees or make dens in hollow logs and caves. In winter they are generally less active than in summer. Bears that live in cooler or more mountainous regions tend to hibernate between November and April, although some also migrate to warmer lowlands.
In the wild, adult moon bears are generally solitary animals with home territories of around 4–8 miles. In our sanctuaries, where there is no competition for food, most of the bears adapt easily to living in fairly large social groups, although some prefer to keep their own company. All of our bears display distinct individual characteristics and traits and many show clear preference and affection for particular “best friends”.