Man stranded on mountain for seven days bumps into family of Formosan black bears 男子山區迷路七天 驚見台灣黑熊

Tue, Nov 14, 2017 - Page 14

A man surnamed Huang, wearing just thin clothing, arranged to meet up with some friends on Kaohsiung’s Cishan to forage for mushrooms. However, after his friends failed to turn up, Huang became lost in the unfamiliar terrain. Stranded on the mountain for seven days, Huang had to rely on just a cigarette lighter for making fires and drank water from streams to stay alive. During the ordeal, Huang was petrified when he chanced upon two Formosan black bears accompanied by a cub. Eventually, Huang was able to find his way off the mountain to safety by following a stream. Search and rescue workers pronounced Huang’s lucky escape a “miracle.”

However, despite Huang’s good fortune in escaping with his life intact, following questioning, police have charged Huang for violating the Forestry Act. Huang stated he climbed the mountain to forage for mushrooms and no forbidden articles were found in his possession.

While following a stream, Huang noticed there were two Formosan black bears and a cub drinking water from the stream on the opposite bank. Huang was immediately concerned he would be attacked but the bears, which Huang believes may have mistaken him for a hunter, after a while retreated into the forest and disappeared.

According to the director of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Wildlife Conservation Hwang Mei-hsiu, Formosan black bears will not normally attack a human if unprovoked and says members of the public should not feel unduly concerned if they come across a Formosan black bear. When a female bear is accompanied by a cub, Hwang says she will be even more cautious and unless her cub’s safety is threatened during an extreme situation, she will normally take the first opportunity to remove her cub from danger. As for Huang’s situation, separated by the stream, Hwang says he did not need to worry.