Himalayan Brown Bear
Himalayan Brown Bear in her natural habitat.
The Himalayan Brown Bears of the Kargil valley are characterised by a generally darker fur with a white collar around the neck. Though termed as the Himalayan Brown Bear they are a subspecies of Brown Bear of Tibetan origin and are also termed as the Tibetan Brown Bear. The fur however turns paler and reddish-brown when they come out of hibernation.
Phylogenetic analyses based on these sequences suggested that the Tibetan brown bear might be a relict population of the Eurasian Brown Bear, and that the Himalayan brown bear, which is genetically distinct from the Tibetan Brown Bear, may represent a more ancient lineage. However, phylogenetic relationships deduced from limited genetic data and number of individuals have put these preliminary findings into question.
We were lucky enough to spot 8/9 individuals in a span of 7 days and spent hours watching them with their slow sluggish activities.