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Pingtung couple mauled by Formosan black bear in their care

Pingtung couple mauled by Formosan black bear in their care

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) A 77-year-old man and his 66-year-old wife, who have raised four Formosan black bears, were attacked by one of the animals at their home in Changzhi Township in Pingtung County on Wednesday. Lee Teng-cheng (???) and wife Chen-Lin Pao-kuei (????) were bitten and clawed in the face and on their arms and legs by a bear called "Pipi" (??) and were both hospitalized. They were taken to Pingtung Christian Hospital but Lee was later moved to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital because he required plastic surgery. The couple was attacked while they were feeding the bears, which have been in their care for more than 20 years. Hwang Mei-hsiu (???), an expert on the Formosan black bear and associate professor at the Institute of Wildlife Conservation at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, said bears are wild animals, and people should keep a safe distance from them, even bears they have raised. The Formosan black bear, however, tends to be afraid of humans and usually runs away from them in the wild, Hwang said, adding that the couple must have been injured as a result of an accident. The couple has raised Pipi, his mate and two male cubs. Lee once told the media that the food consumed by a Formosan black bear is 10 times what the average man would eat and that it cost nearly NT$30,000 (US$982.88) per month to feed the two bears. After Lee was diagnosed with cancer last year, the Pingtung Agriculture Department suggested that he transfer the bears to a shelter, but Lee's son said he would care for the animals. Lee bought Pipi and his mate "Guaiguai" (??) from aborigines in Nantou County some 28 years ago. Since then, Guaiguai has had seven cubs, two of which were given to Taipei Zoo. Lee has been successful in reproducing the Formosan black bear in captivity, while Taipei Zoo has not. (By Kuo Chu-chen and Kuo Chung-han)

Updated : 2021-09-17 21:50 GMT+08:00