TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — People are advised to carry bear bells and adhere to "Leave No Trace" principles following a recent encounter with a Formosan black bear by a Taiwanese resident.
On Nov. 10, a resident named Tsai (蔡) reported spotting a black bear while hiking along the Yuanzui to Shaolai mountain trail, per UDN. Upon the encounter, the hiker immediately stopped, and from the video he filmed, the bear can be seen looking back in a rare recording.
The sighting was reported to the Taichung Division of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency (FANCA), which expressed gratitude by presenting a small gift to the vigilant reporter.
According to the agency, traces of black bears' activities are often found in the Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area and the surrounding mountains. The animals sometimes traverse trails or forest roads unnoticed by visitors, as revealed by monitoring efforts.
It is suggested that visitors to Dasyueshan and the mountainous area of the Seven Heroes of Guguan in Taichung, which are crucial habitats for Formosan black bears, carry bear bells or play music to produce sounds that help prevent unexpected encounters with the animals.
Additionally, black bears have a keen sense of smell, and hikers should manage their food responsibly, avoiding leaving food waste in the forest, which could attract bears. If encountering a black bear, people are urged to remain calm, avoid screaming or running, and slowly retreat, as black bears generally do not attack humans proactively.
Bear bells. (Taichung Division of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency photo)