Survivor of the Silent Gobi

2023-01-30 14:57:08

Bayankhongor, January 30 /MONTSAME/. The gobi bear (as known as Mazaalai) is the rarest subspecies of the brown bear, found in “The Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area” (GGSPA), located around Segs Tsagaan Bogd in Altai mountains.

It is listed as critically endangered by the Mongolian Redbook and other international specialists. Gobi bears primarily live at 1300-2300m in the Gobi desert of southwestern Mongolia, and live around oases within the GGSPA. 

Fewer people have seen Gobi bears as they roam all the time, except during mating. On August 4, 1943, Russian Scientist Yunatov and geologist E.M. Murzayev discovered the Gobi bear officially. The assessment was based on the estimated population which included less than 50 adults. 

The Gobi is a bleak vast and silent place; extreme wind and temperature range between +46C in summer, -36C in winter. The Gobi bears are superbly adaptive in the harsh weather of the Gobi desert. 

Mother bear gives birth once every two years.  They hibernate in winter dens, made in south-facing mountain caves or from dried grasses, from November to February or March. Cubs are born in the winter den and remain with their mother for around two and a half years. 

The gobi bear can live for 20 years. They primarily eat the rhizomes of the wild rhubarb, berries, nitre bush, ephedra, and other plants and rodents and carrion in the summertime.

Volunteers and local herders jointly place over 20 supplementary fodders and fill them 2-3 times a year to promote this incredibly unique species.