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Eight North Korean Black Bears to Be Released on July 1

Posted June. 29, 2005 06:01,   


Eight Korea black bears that were carried from the Central Zoo in Pyongyang this April will be released to the Jiri Mountain on July 1, having successfully finished two months of nature adaptation training.

The Ministry of Environment announced Tuesday that the bears were confirmed to have an inherent ability to live in the wild while at the training field and that genetic analysis proved them to be of the local breed (Northeast Asian breed). Therefore, the advisory committee of experts decided to release the bears, the ministry said.

This brings the total number of Korean black bears in Mt. Jiri to 20, adding the eight to an existing five or six and another six from Primorsky Province, Russia that were released last October.

However, two of the eight moon bears tend to follow people and could return to protection facilities as did Jang-gun and Ban-dol.

An Environment Ministry official said, “Some of the North Korean bears were close to the people at the zoo. They could approach hikers or residents when released to the mountain. We will keep an eye on how they adapt to nature and decide whether to bring them back.”

Tae-Hun Hwang beetlez@donga.com