Taiwan to release young Formosan black bear into wild

The endangered animal was found separated from its mother when only 3 or 4 months old

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The 1-year-old Formosan black bear and its friend (screenshot from Facebook page Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association)

The 1-year-old Formosan black bear and its friend (screenshot from Facebook page Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A young Formosan black bear will soon be released into the wild, almost a year after it was found separated from its mother near a waterfall in Hualien County, reports said Saturday.

Last July, the endangered animal, then aged about three or four months, turned up alone without its mother on a path near the Nan’an Waterfall, the Central News Agency reported.

As it was hungry and only weighed 5 kilograms, rescue workers decided to take it out of the forest and give it the necessary care to recover its health while preparing for a return to its natural habitat.

The bear cub recently celebrated its first birthday, an event which was posted on its own Facebook page, managed by the Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association. Fans have been able to watch how it was trained to search for food and to climb trees, according to CNA.

It had been able to build a nest high up a tree, while its weight had increased to 40 kilos and all its 42 teeth had appeared.

A chicken which was used as prey to teach the bear how to hunt became friendly with the large animal, handlers said.

The Formosan black bear received the advice that, once free again, it should never approach humans, according to the CNA report.