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Medical Health Checks Confirm Nan'an Bear Cub in Excellent Health - Little Girl Bear Strong and Healthy, Taking a First Step into Its Home in the Wild

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201810/24
        On October 23, the Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, R.O.C invited wildlife and medical experts from the Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI), Taipei Zoo, NTU Veterinary Hospital, and the Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association to conduct a health examination on the Little Nan'an Black Bear taken by a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter to ESRI on August 8. The veterinarians confirmed that the little black bear was in excellent health and its weight has increased from 6.8 kg at its arrival at ESRI to 21.3 kg. The little girl bear is growing in good health and has taken its first step towards its return to the homeland in the wilds of Hualien.

  After the medical team performed inhalational anesthesia on the little black bear, measurements were taken for its body weight, body length, C/W/H, and the front and back paws. The physical appearance including the bear's eyes, nose, mouth, and ears was also examined, while auscultation and palpation were also performed; x-ray, ultrasonic, and blood sampling examinations also took place. When the report results were released, apart from the significant increase in body weight and body length, there were no obvious abnormalities in the blood test indexes, and it was no longer showing the signs of weakness when it was orphaned and wandering around. It is now a healthy little bear. In addition, the veterinarians also checked the teeth of the little black bear. It is now growing permanent teeth and the four canines prominent in carnivores can also be clearly seen. There was no problem in chewing the different types of food from the wild.

  On July 10 this year, the little black bear was discovered to be lost at Nan'an Falls. As it was too young at the time and the female bear had not been seen for many days, the young bear was anemic and weak, and unable to survive alone in the wild. It was therefore moved and transported to ESRI, which is well-equipped and has experience in caring for black bears, so that the little bear can have a more suitable growing space and the environment for wild-release training. After its temporary stay at ESRI, the health conditions of the little black bear improved and it grew bigger under almost three months of relay care by the Hualien Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau, ESRI, and expert teams.

  In addition to confirming its healthy condition, the little bear has also begun to learn to eat different kinds of food from the wild, apart from animal-based foods such as small crickets and pond loaches, more important are the wild seasonal fruits eaten by black bears in the wild. In addition to the wild fruits picked by caring members of the public and donated to the little black bear, the various Forest District Offices of the Forestry Bureau also mobilized their forest rangers to systematically collect all kinds of wild seasonal fruits for the little bear to eat. The quantity collected is according to the current actual care needs in order to avoid excessive collection and reducing important food sources for other wildlife.

  The Forestry Bureau said that the common goal of all participating teams is that the little black bear can grow up successfully and return to its wild habitat. ESRI and the Taipei Zoo have proactively provided the sites, manpower, and professional animal care and medical care expertise. The Hualien Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau was responsible for the emergency rescue and care of the little bear and the preparation for its follow-up release into the wild habitat of Hualien. Professor Hwang Mei-Hsiu and her team from the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology are assisting with the wildlife rehabilitation of the little bear. Wildlife and medical expert and scholar teams continue to provide consultation and advice. Assistance from experts and scholars of other departments are also required for the different stages of the little bear’s return home. The support from the local tribal communities of Hualien and members of the public that care about black bears has been the driving force behind the hard work of the collaboration teams. With the aim of ensuring the survival of black bears, the Forestry Bureau will also continue to carry out resource integration and administrative coordination, and establish a macro fauna conservation integration and rescue system in Taiwan through the cross-departmental cooperation for the release of the little black bear.
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