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Carakasaṃhitā: Ausgewählte Texte aus der Carakasaṃhitā / übersetzt und erläutert von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- Anhang B: Tierbeschreibungen. -- Ursus arctos isabellinus. -- Fassung vom 2010-12-09. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/ayurveda/tiere/ursus_arctos_isabellinus.htm
Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung SS 2007
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"Ursus arctus. The brown Bear.
Ursus arctos, L. Syst. Nat. ed. 12, i, p. 69 (1766).
Ursus isabellinus, Horsf. Linn. Trans, xv, p. 332 (1827) : Adams, P.Z.S. 1858, p. 517; Blyth, Cat. p. 76 ; Jerdon, Mam. p. 69; Lyddecker, J. A. S.8. xlvi, pt. 2, p. 285; Scully, P. Z. & 1881, p. 203.
? Ursus pruinosus, Blyth, J. A. 8. B. xxii, p. 589 ; W. Blanf. J. A. S. B. xlvi, pt. 2, p. 318.
Barf-ka-rinchi, Lāl-bhālu, H.; Hāput, Kashmiri; Drengmo, Balti. ; Drin-mor, Ladak : Brabu, Kishtwar ; Dūb, Nepal ; Tom-khaina, Tibetan ; Snow bear of European sportsmen.
Size large. Claws moderate. Fur long in winter, thick, shaggy, and soft, with woolly underfur, the hair on the back being as much as 8 inches in length ; in summer the fur is shorter, thinner and darker. Ears of moderate size, covered with long hair.
Colour. Various shades of brown, from very pale to dark brown, some animals silvery grey from the fur having white tips, some are reddish brown. " In the Eastern Tibetan form (U. pruinosus) the hair on the back and limbs is blackish with pale tawny tips. The fur is rather paler and greyer at the base. According to Kinloch, as a rule in Kashmir old males are the darkest, young animals and females paler, but there are exceptions. In young animals there is a white half-collar on the breast, and this mark is conspicuous in older individuals on the new fur, when the long winter coat has recently been shed. Claws generally in Himalayan animals pale or white.
Dimensions rather variable, as in all bears, males being larger than females. The Himalayan race (U. isabellinus) appears, judging from skulls, to run rather smaller than the European brown bear. Scully gives the length in Gilgit as from 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 8 ; according to Kinloch a very large bear would measure about 7 feet from snout to tail, the latter being only two or three inches long ; whilst Adams says the largest he measured, out of hundreds, was 7 feet 6 inches long, and 3 feet 5 inches high. A moderate-sized skull is 11.7 inches long in basal length, and 7.25 broad across the zygomata. The largest skull in the Calcutta Museum measures 12.5 inches by 8.8, a large European skull 13 by 9.5.
Distribution. Throughout the greater portion of the Palaearctic region. The brown bear inhabits the Himalaya from Afghanistan as far east as Nepal, at all events, and is, or was, common in Kashmir and many parts of the N.W. Himalaya, but it does not occur in Ladak, Suru, Zanskar, or any of the districts north of the main range, though common further west in Astor and Gilgit. U. pruinosus is found in the neighbourhood of Lhasa.
Synonymy. I can find no sufficient reason for distinguishing U. isabellinus from U. arctus. Both vary in colour, and are often of the same tint, the Himalayan form, like the Syrian, being as a rule paler than the European, perhaps because the two Asiatic varieties inhabit more open ground. The difference in size does not appear sufficiently great or constant to justify distinction.
Habits. In summer the Himalayan brown bear keeps to high elevations, living chiefly on the grass slopes above the forests, close to the snow ; in autumn and spring he is found at lower levels, frequently entering the forests, and descending to the neighbourhood of villages to feed on fruit or grain. In winter these bears retreat to caves, and hybernate or remain in a torpid condition until spring. Their winter retreats are usually, at that season, buried beneath the snow. They reappear about March or April, and in those months and May may be found on open spots on the hill-side, where the snow has melted, feeding on the young sprouts of grass and herbs, digging for roots and turning over stones to search for insects. Grass, herbs, and roots form their principal food, with the addition of various fruits and seeds found in the forest, or plundered from the neighbourhood of villages. They are fond of apricots, peaches, apples, mulberries, walnuts, and buckwheat, to obtain which they descend into the valleys occasionally when the fruits are ripe, soon returning, however, to the higher slopes near the snow. Sometimes they are said to kill sheep or goats, and they have been known to feed on the flesh of animals they had killed or found dead. Dr. J. L. Stewart (P. A. S. B. 1867, p. 175) records an instance of a large brown bear killing two smaller bears in succession, and eating portions of their bodies.
In Europe the brown bear frequently kills and eats animals, it is said even cattle and ponies ; but this may be due to vegetable food being less abundant than on the Himalayas, where the brown bear, as a rule, by general testimony is not carnivorous.
Bears are dull of sight and hearing, and although they possess good powers of smell, they appear inferior, even in this respect, to many animals. They can move pretty quickly in a clumsy gallop, but their usual pace is slow. They can climb trees, but in the Himalayas, at all event, rarely do so. The Himalayan brown bear is a very harmless animal, never attacking men, and very rarely, if ever, showing fight even when wounded.
The Himalayan brown bears pair at the end of September, in October and November, and at that time males and females are found together. They, however, go into separate winter-quarters.
The young, usually two in number (one with young females), are born in April or May, the period of gestation being about 6 months. Young bears, when born, are very small, scarcely larger than a good-sized rat ; they are born hairless and blind, and remain without sight for four weeks ; when they are three or four months old they accompany the mother in her rambles. Cubs of two different years are often found with the mother at the same time ; all remain with her, as a rule, until nearly three years old, at which time they are full-grown. In Russia it is asserted that a male cub of the previous year takes charge of the young belonging to the next litter, and acts as a kind of nurse ; but this may be one of the endless folk-lore stories that have accumulated about bears, as about other formidable Carnivora.
One of these stories is to the effect that bears, when attacking, hug those whom they assail, and squeeze them to death. A "bear's hug" is proverbial. The story is apparently without foundation. A bear, from its anatomical structure, strikes round with its paws, as if grasping, and the blow of its powerful arm drives its claws into the body of its victim, causing terrible wounds, but the idea of its "hugging" appears not confirmed by recent observers.
Bears are easily tamed, and it is not uncommon to see examples of this species led about the plains of India. These animals live to a considerable age ; a brown bear lived in the well-known Stadtgraben at Berne, in Switzerland, for 47 years, and a female after 31 years of age bore young."
[Quelle: Blanford, W. T. <1832 – 1905>: Mammalia. -- 1888 - 1891. -- (Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma). -- S. 194 - 197. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/mammalia00blaniala. -- Zugriff am 2007-09-06]