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Rare Asiatic black bear spotted in the DMZ between North and South Korea

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There’s news from South Korea of a rare Asiatic black bear having been spotted in the DMZ.

The DMZ is the Demilitarised Zone which divides North and South Korea.  The area is very cut off and as a result, it’s become a pristine nature reserve. 

In fact, the DMZ has become a real haven for plants and wildlife;   the South Korean government predict that over 100 endangered species call the area home and the Ministry of Environment estimates that there are over 5,097 animal and plant species there, such as the red-crowned crane and black-faced spoonbill. 

It’s thought there are about 3,050 red-crowned cranes left in the world so they are a very endangered species indeed.  However, it’s also a migrating route for birds and the Eurasian lynx has been spotted in the area too.

Although South Korean soldiers reported seeing bears in the past, there wasn’t any photographic evidence.   The South Korea National Institute of Technology installed cameras – and the bear was spotted!

KBS News


The bear seen is thought to be between 8 to 9 months old, weighing about 25 to 35 kilograms.   They think the bear is a descendant of the Asiatic black bears lived in the DMZ for a long time

The DMZ is 155 miles long and 2.5 miles wide and it runs across the Korean Peninsula.  It’s heaviliy mined and fortified with barbed wire with surveillance cameras and electric fending.   It was created after the armistice which brought an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

Hiking trails are being established in the DMZ now as recently ties between North and South Korea have improved.  


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