On April 23rd 2012, a 2 year old female Asiatic black bear, escaped from a bear farm in Yong In, Kyonggi-do, South Korea. The bear was shot dead by the police and professional hunters. The bear had a tube sticking out from its neck indicating a possible illegal practice of taking bodily fluids. The farm the bear escaped from has been confirmed as an illegal bear farm, 'Cheong Rok Won', which holds 105 moon bears at present without proper building license and has been in operation since 2003 March. There are reports that there have been previous escapes from this facility.
All the bears are being caged in more than 40 dens, measuring 2m by 4 m, the farm has no fences around to secure the animals, and is situated in a residential area of approximately 20 houses. The villagers are living in fear and suffering constant distress due to the lack of security at the farm and are scared at night knowing there are more than 100 bears sleeping at the back yard of their houses. No drainage facility has been found in the vicinity also creating environmental hazards in the area. To date no official government officer has been to the illegal bear farm to inspect the property or to enforce the regulations.
We the undersigned would respectfully ask the Minister for the Environment Yoo, Youngsook and the President of South Korea, President Lee, Myung Park to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the escape of a bear from 'Cheong Rok Won' Bear Farm, to prosecute the owner of this illegal facility and close it down permanently without delay, to confiscate the bears remaining on the farm and allow them to be moved to a sanctuary or other suitable secure place where they can receive immediate veterinary care and be looked after properly. We also respectfully ask that the South Korean Government end the cruel industry of bear farming without delay, buy back the bears from bear farmers and look after them in sanctuaries where they can receive immediate veterinary care and be properly looked after.