A black bear was today identified as the prime suspect in a case related to stolen honey from a nature reserve in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. The case was solved after the workers at the nature reserve found a footage from an infrared camera which had recorded the “thief”.
The bear raided a local farmer’s apiary in the reserve on the night of June 10, taking a bee hive and damaging several others, Bi Zheng, an official with the Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve, said.
Workers with the reserve later found some bear prints and excrement in the woods near the apiary, but did not close the case until weeks later when they found the camera on a nearby tree.
The footage showed the bear opening the lid of the hive with its mouth, then retreating when a swarm of bees flew out. After confirming the bees were gone, the bear returned and escaped with one of the hives into the woods.
Bi said now is the season for black bears, a second-class protected animal in China, to find food to prepare for hibernation.
Goats, corn and honey from local farmers often fall prey to the animals. To better protect the species, local farmers will be compensated for losses caused by the bears, subject to regulations, he said.