Miracle: a sad ending
Courtesy of moonbears.org, our partner in ending bear bile farming
An escaped moon bear from Kohwun Botanical Garden, Cheungyang- gun, Korea was shot dead on 31 Jan, 2011.
The male moon bear escaped from the Kohwun Botanical Garden Zoo by lifting the gate, and was hiding in a nearby cave only 700 meters away from the zoo.
When found, he had escaped the 30 hunters who followed him for 3 hours and died from 4 gunshot wounds.
According to the video footage, he was still alive and moaning when the hunters approached him to put the last bullet in him. The local police announced they initially planned to capture the bear, but changed the protocol after a dart gun was shot at him without success.
He was 150 cm and 200 kg—a healthy 5 year old moon bear. (By Roh, Dong-hyun TJB reporter)
NPO moonbears.org spoke to the Kohwun zoo official today, 7 May, 2011. It is confirmed that the dead bear is indeed our lost bear, dubbed ‘Miracle’. He escaped from a breeding farm as a 20 month old baby. To do this, he swam across the river into thick forest of Kangwon and lived in the wild freely for the next 2 years, known by local activists a ‘Miracle’ for his unique and unexpected survival. Miracle was born in a bear bile farm and did not learn survival skills from his mother. He adapted as was necessary to survive, evading humans and eating from crops.
Upon capture in 2009, he was sent to Kohwun Botanical Garden as every facility (including Jirisan bear centre) refused to take him in. At that time, his sex was originally erroneously reported, causing activists to doubt that the correct bear had been caught. However, DNA tests proved the bear was a male, having been born from a mother imported from Taiwan.
This disgraceful event underlines the total lack of expertise and preparation for such incidents in Korea. It defies belief that the animal could not be sedated with the dart. It also shows no understanding of the need to protect and preserve moon bears in Korea.
To succeed in his second successful attempt to get back to the beauty of the wild, and to be able to survive outside a zoo environment is proof that even farmed bears have the natural ability to survive in the wild. ‘Miracle’ was a significant individual in the population and we could have learned from her scientifically.
*** The Founder of Kohwun Botanical garden Mr.Lee, Joo-ho said the zoo built a monument of this magnificent bear who symbolizes the will to be free.
- Re-posted from moonbears.org
The entire Miracle saga has been archived on our Miracle Page. Many thanks to Gina Moon for here tireless work.