Rescued Formosan black bear put in position to draw out mother

Local authorities believe the bear's mother may have been scared off by the scent of the crew handling the cub's return to the wild, and they decided that the bear be given space and that disturbances be kept to a minimum.
Local authorities believe the bear's mother may have been scared off by the scent of the crew handling the cub's return to the wild, and they decided that the bear be given space and that disturbances be kept to a minimum.

TAIPEI (CNA) — A young Formosan black bear rescued in Taitung County on Saturday will be positioned in the forest in a cage for 10 days, hoping to draw out the bear’s mother, which has yet to return to locate her cub, according to the Forestry Bureau.

Forestry authorities put the cub in the wild in a cage Saturday night, but after the mother had not appeared 24 hours later, they decided on keeping the cub in the wild for as many as 10 days, up from the seven originally planned.

The cage has been made of steel wire, which will prevent the cub from escaping but allow the mother to cut through should she return to fetch her cub. The crew also put some honey near the cage to attract the mother.

Local authorities believe the bear’s mother may have been scared off by the scent of the crew handling the cub’s return to the wild, and they decided that the bear be given space and that disturbances be kept to a minimum.

Liu Chiung-lien (劉瓊蓮), director of the Taitung Forest District Office, said the authorities and experts agreed that the top priority of the release mission was to unite the cub with its mother in the area where the two were apparently separated.

The first stage of the release, to last for 10 days, is aimed at maintaining the cub’s health, keeping human disturbances to a minimum and tracking down the mother, Liu said.

That will include feeding the cub on a daily basis. The Taitung Forest District Office’s Guanshan Station said veterinarians from the Taitung Animal Disease Control Center checked the rescued animal for injuries and other health issues on Saturday, and found that the cub still had a hearty appetite and ate the foods provided by experts.

The young Formosan black bear was rescued by a farmer named Wang Wan-yu (王萬有) in Taitung County on Saturday. Wang said he found the cub on a banana plantation at around noon being chased by two large dogs.

By Alyx Chang