Taiwan's Un-BEAR-ably Cute National Animal


While on my very first hike in Hualien, Taiwan, I began to wonder what kind of animals lived in Taiwan. I had heard that dolphins and whales lived on the shores of Taiwan and that monkeys could be found in many of the counties, but I had never heard of the national animal: the Formosan black bear. The term "Formosan" comes from the name the Portuguese explorers gave the island in the 16th century: Formosa. While I have not seen this bear in the wild, I have seen one in the zoo in Taipei. It was very cute, but I wouldn't dare to give it a hug!

What does this creature or plant look like?:

The Formosan black bear is also called the "white-throated bear" because it looks like it has a white collar around its neck. Its ears are slightly long and pointy, while the nose looks like that of a dog's. When the bear stands up, it can be up to six feet tall! Of course, the black bear's fur is black, except for the white collar.

How did I feel when I saw it?:

Although I did not see this animal in the wild, I did see it chilling out under a rock at the zoo. The Formosan black bear is certainly smaller than I expected, and its unique facial features make it teddy bear-like. Because it was raining when I saw the bear, I felt bad that it had to hide out from the rain all by itself.