Red Brick Daily

Kaying the bear is dead.  The Formosan black bear was found in the shallows of Hualien County’s Lakulaku River (拉庫拉庫溪) on Thursday.

A preliminary autopsy is indicating Kaying was dead before her body entered the water as she had undigested food in her stomach and no residual water in her lungs.

Kaying — adult female / about 10-years-old / 57 kilos / 1.45 meters tall  — had old wounds from a life in the mountains of south-central Taiwan … her left front paw was missing, and the fifth digit on her right front paw was broken … suggesting the bear had stepped onto traps at least twice … ouch!

Formosan black bears are Taiwan’s only endemic bears and are listed as a “first-class priority conservation species.”

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The Yushan National Park Office estimates about 100 bears live in the park.

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Kaying had been monitored by a team of researchers from the Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Wildlife Conservation.

Director Hwang Mei-hsu (黃美秀) said the precise cause of Kaying’s death is unlikely to be known for at least three to four days, while noting that another Formosan black bear was found dead earlier this month.

A possible cause of death could be related to bruising found on the crown of the bear’s head … how this injury was obtained is yet unknown.

(Photo courtesy of Lin Chia-yang)

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