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When Black Bears Meet Turtle, Mischievous 'Belle' Slapped It!

There are two vigorous young adult Asian black bears in the Temperate Zone Animal Area of Taipei Zoo, Sugar and Belle. However, they’re two completely different characters, when they both meet the red-eared slider, what would happen?


Asian black bears are solitary animals and their living area in the wild is roughly around 50 square kilometers, the size of 5 Xinyi districts. Zookeepers at Taipei Zoo have been trying their best to not only provide more space for Asian black bears but also improve the indoor natural environment.


Every time Sugar goes to the outdoor area, he always finishes the whole feast zookeepers prepared for him first, plays with his toys sometimes, moves around for a bit, and then hides in the area where he can see zookeepers with shades. Sugar also gets along with the neighbor, a red-eared turtle, really well, and they never seem to disturb each other.


On the other hand, Belle is completely different from Sugar. She is much more energetic, she can spend her whole day non-stop running around, biting the plants in the outdoor area after her feast, or climbing on the tree to build herself a new nest. Zookeepers found out Belle was terrified by a red-eared turtle basking in the sun when she was wandering around the lake one day. Although Asian black bears have a sensitive sense of smell and hearing, they don’t really have good eyesight, for that reason, Belle was frightened by the red-eared turtle when she wandered right next to it. Surprisingly, Belle’s memory is not bad. When it was her turn to go to the outdoor area, the moment she saw the red-eared turtle by the lake, she immediately slapped her paw toward the turtle. Ever since then, the red-eared turtle would jump into the water itself every time it sees bears approaching. Belle would even stare at the surface, stir the water, or directly jump into the water just to find the turtle.


Belle is an Asian black bear in the Temperate Zone Animal Area with a distinctive characteristic. She likes to provoke other black bears that live next door every time she’s allowed to the outdoor area. Hence, when it is Belle’s turn to go to the playground, the zookeepers have to feed the other black bears first to distract them so that they don't fight each other on the passage. Belle is really an energetic Asian black bear.


Belle and Sugar are about the same age, but their size is really different. The male bear, Sugar, is 210 cm tall when he’s standing and weighs 160 kg. The female bear, Belle, is about 160 cm tall and weighs 100 kg. People sometimes misjudge Belle to be a cub because of its size although Belle and Sugar are the same age. Based on their characteristics, I’m sure next time we all can distinguish which one is Sugar and which one is Belle.