A Formosan black bear cub rescued in Taitung County last month will not be released back into the wild until it is 12 months old, the Forestry Bureau said on Wednesday.
Local resident Wang Wan-yu (王萬有) on July 27 rescued the cub, which was being chased by two dogs near a banana farm in Haiduan Township’s (海端) Guangyuan Village (廣原).
Bureau officials returned the cub to the place where it was found and was prepared to release it as soon as its mother arrived.
Photo courtesy of the Forestry Bureau
When the standard 10-day waiting period had passed and its mother was still nowhere in sight, the bureau’s Taitung Forest District Office convened a meeting with experts to discuss what to do with the four-month-old cub.
Bureau Director-General Lin Hwa-ching (林華慶) presided over the meeting, which was attended by experts from the Endemic Species Research Institute and Taipei Zoo; wild mammal experts Lee Ling-ling (李玲玲), Lin Liang-kung (林良恭), Wang Ying (王穎) and Chiang Po-jen (姜博仁); a Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association representative; and Haiduan Township Mayor Hu Chin-chih (胡金至).
Experts Yuan Hsiao-wei (袁孝維) and Huang Mei-hsiu (黃美秀), who were unable to attend the meeting, offered their advice in writing.
Since the waiting period has passed and with Typhoon Lekima approaching, the cub is to be moved to a safe place, Taitung Forest District Office Director Liu Chiung-lien (劉瓊蓮) said.
The chances of the cub’s mother returning are slim, the office said.
The cub is to be moved to an area under the jurisdiction of the office, where it will be taken care of until it is 12 months old, the bureau said.
The cub is active and has a good appetite, “devouring” apples, dragon fruit and eggs, Liu said.
Describing the cub’s behavior as “child-like, mischievous and destructive,” Liu said it had dug holes in the ground, as if attempting to escape.
To prepare for similar incidents in the future, the office is to form a dedicated team with the Endemic Species Research Institute for the care and release of cubs in Taitung and Hualien counties.
The Hualien Forest District Office, the Taipei Zoo and local veterinarians will also join their efforts, while experts will be asked for professional advice.
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