SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Last May, a male Asiatic black bear was discovered deep in the forest of Russia’s eastern region of Khabarovsk.
The bear’s parents were nowhere to be found. Dubbed the “orphan bear,” the animal was sent to an animal shelter to prevent poachers from getting to the bear first.
Known to be born in either January or February of 2017, the “orphan bear” traveled to the Korean Peninsula in November.
The Species Restoration Technology Institute under the Ministry of Environment, in an effort to restore endangered animals, brought the bear to Korea and released it into the wild on Mt. Jir.
Unfortunately, the bear was frequently spotted by mountain hikers on the ranges of the mountain’s Nogodan (1,508 meters in height).
The hikers would give the bear chocolate, fruit and beverages and take its photo. The bear known as RM-62 became very used to the presents offered by the humans.
Officials at the Species Restoration Technology Institute, however, considered the situation to be very problematic. RM stands for “Russian male” and 62 is the bear’s serial number.
The chief of the institute stated that the bear’s inability to get in touch with its wild nature could cause problems for both the bear and humans.
The institute, therefore, captured RM-62 near Nogodan and relocated it to Cheonwangbong, which is a couple kilometers away.
But RM-62 continued to approach human visitors in the area as it was already used to people. Photos that hikers took of the young bear were frequently uploaded to social media websites.
Officials decided to capture the bear once again after seeing an online video of the animal drinking a beverage from a plastic bottle.
Eventually, RM-62 was captured and is currently being kept locked in a cage at the institute’s facilities in Gurye-gun, South Jeolla Province.
The bear measures 138 centimeters in height and 58.7 kilograms in weight.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, sources say it is highly likely that the young bear will live its entire life locked up in a cage, becoming a source of future possible propagation efforts of the local bear population.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)