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Province's first sighting of wild bear in 11 years

(China Daily)

10:01, September 14, 2011

The first black bear seen in the wild in Gutian Mountain in Kaihua county of Zhejiang's Quzhou city is captured on camera on June 9, which experts say proves the bears still inhabit the region. Photos Provided by Bao Yixin

SHANGHAI - An expert on animal studies in East China's Zhejiang province claims that a photo of a black bear in the wild proves they still inhabit the region even though it is the first sighting of one in the forests for 11 years.

"I recognized it was a black bear in the photo at first sight, by its color, shape, fur and paw," Bao Yixin, a professor at the College of Chemistry and Life Sciences of Zhejiang Normal University, told China Daily on Thursday.

Bao set up cameras in Gutian Mountain, a national-level nature reserve in Kaihua county of Zhejiang's Quzhou city.

"We collect the photos once every three months. The record shows that the photo was taken on June 9," he said.

The forestry department of Zhejiang province has confirmed that it is the first time that the province has had any sighting of a black bear in the forests for 11 years.

According to Bao, a survey initiated by the provincial forestry department in 1999 found that there were less than 60 black bears in Zhejiang province at that time.

"Because they have not been seen in the past 11 years, we don't know the number now. However, the finding this time will definitely encourage further research," he said.

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