The sighting of an endangered Asiatic black bear in the DMZ has come as a surprise. It was captured on a video. The DMZ is a unique feature of the korean peninsula. It is a strip of land roughly 155 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, that runs across the peninsula. It divides the two Koreas and there are mechanisms to guard against any sort of encroachment. The DMZ came into being after the armistice was signed to end the 1950-53 Korean War.

In view of the isolated nature of this piece of land, many Endangered Species of wildlife have made it their home. Authorities in South Korea predict there are hundreds of such animals in the area.

The BBC reports that millions of visitors arrive every year to take in the sights and sounds of wildlife. Visitors usually arrive on the south side to watch the treasures of flora and fauna on the other side.

Because of the recent thaw in the relationship between Seoul and Pyongyang, both sides are taking steps to have hiking trails in the DMZ. Seoul government plans to set up an "ecological tourism belt." South Korea's Ministry of Environment estimates there are thousands of animal and plant species in the zone.

The Asiatic black bear

There had been reports of soldiers seeing the Asiatic black bear but there was no evidence.

Therefore, South Korea installed cameras in strategic locations and captured the animal on video. From examining the photograph, they have been able to arrive at some details like its age, weight etcetera. The conclusion is it belongs to the species of the Asiatic black bears that roam in the DMZ.

The BBC goes on to add that the DMZ is a veritable treasure house of a large variety of not only animals but also of migratory birds.

An example is the red-crowned crane and black-faced spoonbill. Both are rare birds. The former with a population of just over 3000 is labeled as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The DMZ is more than a no-man’s land

According to CNN, the heavily guarded DMZ between North and South Korea is not just a no-man’s land but is also a refuge for endangered animals and exotic birds.

Since 2014, there have been unmanned cameras installed in the area. They are programmed to snap photos when they sense movement from a warm-blooded animal.

As far as the Asiatic Black bears are concerned, authorities in South Korea designated them as an endangered animal in 1998 and have been trying to improve the count. The ministry wants to expand the study of ecology and biodiversity of the DMZ.

It wants to evolve measures to preserve and manage wildlife in the region. The area had been out of bounds to humans for over six decades. That has come as a boon for preservation of the wildlife.

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