Love The Asiatic Black Bear
This young bear is 5 years old and loves spending her nights (and sometimes days, depends how she feels) finding her favourite foods; insects, mushrooms, fruit, honey, and if she dares, the leftovers from tigers. To be honest, though, she’s not too fussy with her food, there are lots of goodies to be found in the forest! The tigers do scare her, she knows they can be dangerous. But there is one creature in the forest that scares her even more. Humans.
These adorable bears are well known across the world thanks to the internet memes of one cutie sitting on its hind legs with the most perfect halfmoon teddy bear ears. They are found in many parts of Asia, from the Himalayas to southeast Iran, right down into Southeast Asia. They are black with a distinctive white patch, often in the shape of a V, on their chest and have proportionally larger ears compared to other bears. They live in forested areas with nice, thick vegetation. Usually, they are nocturnal, spending their days tucked up in a nice cave or tree hole, but they do occasionally come out to feed during the day. In winter, most will hibernate, feeding heavily to build up enough fat to get them through those long winter months. Yet some only hibernate for the worst of the winter weather.
Female Asiatic black bears will often have their first litter of cubs when they are 3 years old. They will find a cosy cave or hollow tree to give birth, either in winter or early spring where she can have 1-4 cubs. The cubs are completely dependent on their mother for the first 6 months where they will feed upon her nourishing milk. Once they have been weaned and move onto solid food, they will stay with her until they are 2-3 years old when they will set out on their independent journeys.
Asiatic black bears are listed as vulnerable and have a decreasing population. The main threats they face or deforestation and poaching for their body parts. In China in the early 90s, their habitat shrunk to one-fifth of what it was pre-1940. But the more horrific threat is hunting for their body parts which are used in traditional medicines. In India, poaching for their gall bladders and skin is the number one threat for the bears. The bile of these bears is incorrectly thought to be a cure for many diseases, from cancer to hangovers. The poor bears are kept in tiny cages and are milked for their bile. Their paws and claws as well as other body parts are removed and sold on the illegal wildlife trade. In some countries, bear farms have been set up as a “solution” to poaching where the bears are constantly hooked up with a catheter while their bile is slowly extracted.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/
For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg
ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.
The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.
Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.
Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world.
Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.
Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.
Please follow @gillieandmarcart
If you are interested in buying art related to the Loved the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march