Time ago one could find them wandering on a large part if European, Asian and American lands, but over time, their habitat has greatly restricted. Eight bear species exist nowadays: brown bear, black bear, Andean bear, sun bear, sloth bear, Asian black bear, panda and polar bear.
Though bears are considered dangerous to humans, yet it is the man who is the greatest threat to the bears (hunting, industrialization, illegal trade…). The bear that embodies strength and power is deeply rooted in popular culture through rites and traditions, mythology, heraldry and folklore.
It also became teddy bear, popular toy among both boys and girls and a literature character.
The block's designer Olivier Tallec realized a contemporary image of bears against a strong and bright red color. He wanted to demonstrate the concept of endangered species and their fragility by superimposing the depicted bears "in balance".
Four threatened mammals are illustrated on stamps of the block: the Kermode bear, cousin of black bear living on the large islands of the Pacific coast of Canada, the Andean bear, also called spectacled bear, which is the only representative of the species in the southern hemisphere, as for the giant panda and the polar bear, they were particularly affected by the gradual destruction of their habitat.