News - 2007

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November 2007

Farewell Dal-gung, more sad news from Jirisan National Park in Korea.

Dal-gung a four year old moon bear has been found dead in Jirisan National Park.

Dal-gung had been thought to be succesfully adapting to the Jirisan National Park habitat having hibernated and survived three bitterly cold Korean winters on the mountain.

The Jirisan National Park moon bear restoration team feel that on this occasion poaching was not involved because Dal-gung's body had no trace of blood or cuts . The body has been sent for an autopy to ascertain the cause of death. According to the restoration team, Dal-gung's transmitter started sending abnormal signals at 10:40am on 15 Nov 2007, her body was found the following day, 16 November 2007.

In what it seems may be the start of a terrible countdown, we are so very sad to report that there are now only 10 wild moon bears left in all of Korea.

Please Sign our petition and tell your friends.

Moon bear restoration project branded a failure.

Mr Ahn Hong-joon, a member of The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, has branded the Ministry of Environment's moon bear restoration project a failure. He says that there should be a full review of all aspects of the project prior to it moving ahead at the annual Parliamentary Inspection of the Government.

Mr Ahn Hong-joon goes on to say that any review undertaken should include an understanding of the moon bears place in the food chain and also take into account what has historically been the moon bears natural habitat. This last point, it seems, is particularly pertinent when it is realized that the government has no plans in place for purchasing or administering the 49% of Jirisan National Park that is currently held by private interests.

October 2007

Moon bear restoration work in Jirisan National Park - An Overview

The Jirisan National Park restoration project effectively began in 2004 when 20 wild moon bears were imported from various countries, including Russia and China, then released into the wild in Jirisan National Park . Subsequently, during that first year (between October 2004 and October 2005), 9 of these moon bears were reported as being dead or as having been collected by the project team due to an inability to adapt to the habitat.

Unfortunately that leaves only 11 wild moon bears left in all of South Korea and these are under constant threat from poachers in the Jirisan National Park area. In fact, since 2004 the restoration project team have located and removed over 1585 bear traps from the mountain. It should be noted, however, that not all of these traps are set by the poachers. The trapping of wild animals has been a traditional part of village life in this part of Korea for a very long time and the villagers themselves see this as part of the natural rythym of life. The moon bear's natural habit of eating more prior to hibernation and then post hibernation of roaming widely to eat rock moss and early spring fruits (to cleanse their internal organs) leave them particularly susceptible to the villagers traditional hunting methods.

In July 2006 the Environment Department announced that they would spend USD42.4 million to restore and protect all 54 endangered species found in South Korea. This would include 7 mammals; Sul-ak deer, moon bears, lynx, musk deers, mountain goat, fox and sea lion.

Despite the USD17.6 million being spent on the Jirisan National Park restoration project many experts are now identifying a range of problems in locating such a sensitive project in Jirisan National Park . In support of this argument they point out that:

A Chronology of Failure

Green Korea - Bear Farming Survey

Green Korea reports that, according to a survey carried out by M Brain co. between August 13 and August 23 2007, 80% of bear farmers wil agree to shut down their bear farms if they are offered reasonable compensation by the goverment.

61 of Korea's 91 bear farms responded to the survey, the majority of these feel they are neglected by the Environment Department and complain of a lack of guidance.

Additionally when asked how they dispose of the waste after slaughtering a bear for it's bile only 32% of the farmers dispose of the waste according to the waste disposal regulations. Of the rest 19.7% say they consume/eat the left over, 6.6% give it away to bear bile buyers, 6.6% sell it for food and a massive 42.6% say they "don't know" how to properly dispose of the left over bear products.

Click here to find out more (Korean language)

Green Korea's "Sorry Bears!" concert.

Green Korea is organizing a concert to publicise South Korea's bear farm farming industry. The "Sorry Bears!" concert will be held on November 11 2007 at GyunKuk University Music Hall in Seoul.

Click here to find out more about the concert (Korean language)

Day of the Bear

Every year November 4 is the "Day of the Bear" in Korea. Many activities are being planned to celebrate the event.

Click here to find out more (Korean language)

Green Korea members campaign against bear farming.

Click here to find out more YonHap news. (Korean language)

The Law of One


Thank you to signature #2846, Ms.Elfmagic Taylor of Australia, for this beautiful poem/incantation:


We are all One.

When one is harmed, all are harmed.

When one is helped, all are helped.

Therefore, in the name of who I am, and I am One with All,

I ask that only that which is the highest good of all concerned, happen here.

I give thanks that this is done.

South Korea's Environment Minister resigns.

On the 30th of August 2007 Lee Chi-Beom, who was responsible for South Korea's disastorous bear farming policy, resigned from his post as the Environment Minister. Lee Chi-Beom stated that he was resigning to support the campaign of Lee Hae-Chan to become president of South Korea.

Click on this link for more information:

It was Lee Chi-Beom who was blamed for turning the opening of the Moon Bear Restoration project in Jirisan National Park (2005) into an absolute circus when he arrived in a fleet of helicopters with a band of entertainers. Exactly what the moon bears didn't need!

You can find out about South Korea's new Environment Minister here:

Here are his contact details:

Maan-ee, Lee at
Ministry of Environment
Government Complex-Gwacheon 1, Joongang-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 427-729 South Korea

or by contacting the Ministry of Environment via the forum on their website.

August 2007

Bear eating scandal. (update)

South Korean government officials implicated in bear eating scandal! (See below dated 20 May 2007)

All three parts of the video expose, "Appetite for Bears", "The Truth Unveiled" and "Farmed Bears turned White Elephant" are now available for viewing in our Video Gallery

Foundation Brigitte Bardot urges Mr.Ban Ki-moon to save the moon bears.

We are very pleased to advise that Foundation Brigitte Bardot has taken up the cause of Korea's moon bears. In a letter dated 17 July 2007 to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr.Ban Ki-moon, Brigitte Bardot asked that he intervene with the Korean Government to help save the moon bears.

You can view the letter (in French) here (PDF 76kb opens in new window). Alternatively a summary of the letter in English follows:

Dear Mr Secretary General,

I have received your letter on 13 October and congratulate you on your appointment and I encourage you to use your new position to improve the position of animals around the world who are in distress.

I ask you to work towards changing the attitude of Koreans in relation to eating dogs and cats.The recent scandal involving the eating of bear meat by Government officials in Korea demonstrates the need for change. It is unacceptable enough that 1600 bears are being farmed for their bile. But it is totally revolting that these poor animals are also killed to provide meat for restaurants.

The majority of world Governments oppose the trade in bear bile products. Wild bears in Korea face extinction and the majority of bears in Korea are confined in small cages and are not fed their natural diet of fruit and vegetables.They are kept in conditions totally unlike their natural environment. Many of them harm themselves in this situation.

Your Excellency, you can use your new position to greatly improve the quality of life of animals. I beg you to intervene with your Korean Government to address the situation with the bears as this will greatly improve the image of South Korea. This will show the UN has great compassion.

Thankyou for reading this and for your consideration.

Brigitte Bardot

July 2007

Bear eating scandal. (update)

South Korean government officials implicated in bear eating scandal! (See below dated 20 May 2007)

Part 1 of the expose, "Appetite for Bears" is now available for viewing in our Video Gallery. Part 2 "The Truth Unveiled" and Part 3 "Farmed Bears turned White Elephant" will be available soon.

June 2007

To Be Alive

Thank you Gail Robinson (signature 2226) who submitted this poem with her signature.

To be beautiful, to be alive, to be joyous, to be healthy, to be in touch with the spirit of life to turn away forever from cruelty to all and every living creature in our care. This little bears suffering must stop now!

Life or Death

Thank you Jack Forrest (signature 1986) who submitted this poem "Life or Death" with his signature.

A silent suffering trance
Is this what life is?
A bed of wet cement
And a blanket of pain

Where is the whispering wind
The raw earth
The canopy of forest
That long and peaceful winter sleep?

Where is the moon
Where are the stars?
My own breast is only my moon
And my scars don't heal

It seems that life brings pain
A numbing and gnawing agony
A constant weight that bends the heart and soul
There are only scars- no stars

From this living death
I silently scream for freedom
I was born free into a world of chains
And jailed by beasts imprisoned by their fears

Death is looking good
In this agony of life
Where men born of my mother
Use my flesh to feed their dreams

Come to me life
For life will follow death
A rich forest full of humming life
Awaits my time of passing

Jirisan National Park Moon Bears, another one found dead.

In very sad news just to hand, Lana a three year old female moon bear, has been found dead in Jirisan National Park, the Korea National Veterinary Research Institute is seeking to confirm the cause of her death.

Lana was imported and released in 2004 as part of a government program to revive the wild moon bear population in Korea.

Despite having a claimed budget of 17,600,000,000 Won (approximately 20 million US dollars) the Environment Department of Korea appears to be failing in their quest to re-introduce wild moon bears into Jirisan National Park. The failure is attributed to the activities of poachers (a moon bear gall bladder sells for up to $20,000 in Korea) and the inability of the moon bears to adjust to life in the wild.

Lana had awoken up from her hibernation and been active since early April.

With Lana's death it is now confirmed there are only 11 wild moon bears left in Korea.

May 2007

Environmental and conservation news organizations support

It is great to see that organizations and individuals all over the world are picking up on our news alert (see below). To date we have seen the story raised on the IAKA website, on C2NN, on EVANA and on various blogs including Carmen Vierhuis's care-4-animals blog.

Bear eating scandal.

South Korean government officials implicated in bear eating scandal! (updated 25 May 2007)

South Korean government officials have been implicated in a scandal that highlights the horrific treatment of Moon Bears in South Korea. The case has shocked many in South Korea as it proves links between bear farming interests and government officials whose job is to protect the Moon Bears.

KBS Broadcast Networks, a government owned television station, broke news of the scandal through hard hitting investigative reports first aired on the 11th May 2007.

On the 4th of May 2007, Mayor Yoo Young Hun of JinCheun (pictured) took about 20 of his County Council members to lunch at Yeonkok Garden restaurant. The restaurant is owned by one of the County Council members, Kim Dong Ku, whose wife operates a nearby Moon Bear farm. The restaurant's menu includes a range of bear dishes including bear feet, bear bile, and bear wine. Restaurant patrons are even able to order from a "take out" menu, purchasing bear cubs directly from the farm.

When a Moon Bear dish is ordered the hapless bear is slaughtered on the spot after being brutally clubbed to death. Mayor Yoo Young Hun of JinCheun paid the for the US $1,200.00 meal of Moon Bear shabu shabu (stew) using a government issued credit card.

County Council member, Kim Dong Ku and his wife, have claimed to keep moon bears as pets, news reports reveal, however, that they in fact operate a farm where as many as 20 bears are crammed into tiny cages.

Following the airing of the program, police are investigating the scandal with a view to prosecuting those involved under the Wild Animal Protection law, the Food Hygiene Standard and disposal of waste regulations. Kim dong Ku, his wife, 3 tractor operators and drivers are currently under investigation and it is believed that some arrests have been made.

Unfortunately, it appears that Mayor Yoo Young Hun and the rest of the offending council members will walk away from their actions scot free. While they admit to eating the Moon Bear, they claim not to have known it was illegally killed. This is hard to believe, as villagers in the area have witnessed the councilmembers dining at the restaurant very regulary and it is likely that hundreds of bears have been brutally killed and consumed by the council members.

GreenKorea and WhalbinDan claimed the South Korean Department of Environment does not have adequate laws in place to protect the farmed Moon Bears, particularly when this immoral behavior was undertaken by high ranking government officials. They also called for the Mayor to publicly apologise for his actions and to release the names of any other council members involved. The Union of Civil Servants in Jincheun-gun has held a press conference to express their outrage at the behavior of these officials and to demand a high level investigation of the incident.

Mayor Yoo Young Hun has since apologised but continues to maintain that he did not know it was illegal to kill Moon Bears for their meat! calls on the offending Council members to immediately resign from their government positions and for the South Korean government to take urgent action against them for flagrantly violating the laws against killing farmed Moon Bears for their meat. If the government cannot police their own it is clear that there is little hope of educating the general public to change their behavior.

You can help by:

Sending a letter to the Ministry of Environment:

Minister Lee Chi-beom
Ministry of Environment
Government Complex-Gwacheon 1, Joongang-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 427-729 Korea

or by contacting the Ministry of Environment via the forum on their website

or by writing a letter to the offending council members of Jincheon County urging them to take responsibility for their actions and to shut down the Yeonkok Garden restaurant:

Jincheon County Office
Ubnae-ri #463, Jincheon-eup, Jincheon-gun,
Chungcheongbuk-do 365-850, Korea

"Bears in Korea" article highlighted on Expat Advisory services website.

Expat Advisory Services has included an abridged version of our original Moon Bear article on their South Korea pages.

Professor Kim Ok Kyong discus's bear farming.

On 19 April 2007 The ChoSun Ilbo (a Korean daily newspaper) ran this Korean language article by Professor Kim Ok Kyong of the Cheongju University of Korea. In it she makes a very convincing economic case that Korea must release all farmed bears or risk repeating mistakes from the past.

Cree Prophecy

Thank you Ms.K C Curry (signature 1564) for including this Cree Prophecy with your signature:

Only after the last tree has beencut down,
Only after the last river has beenpoisoned,
Only after the last fish has beencaught,
Then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

April 2007


Thank you so much to Pamela (signature 1390) and Simone for highlighting our campaign at C2NN, the Care2 News Network.

Korean language petition to stop bear farming.

Green Korea has a Korean language petition to stop bear farming.

IAKA supports the campaign

IAKA includes an article about Korean bear farming in their spring 2007 newsletter.
Click here to view the article (PDF 424kb)

Video gallery added to

Video Gallery added to the site, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any video footage you would like to see featured on this page.

March 2007

Tegan Lee's blog

Tegan from the USA (Signature #982) shares her experience of Korea's Moon Bears on her blog at

A poem to honour bears.

Thank you so much to Jack (Signature #29) for this beautiful poem about the plight of Korea's Moon Bears. website launched

The website is launched to publicise Mrs.G.Moon's "Bears in Korea" article and to raise awareness of the plight of Korea's moon bears.


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