Kai the bear had spent practically all of his 17 years on Earth confined to a tiny cage inside a museum. However, when a group of tourists noticed his plight, they embarked on a mission to set him and three other bears free.
Ussuri brown bears are very rare. The large predators can be found in the Korean Peninsula, some of Russia’s easternmost islands, the north-east of China and Northern Japan. However, the animals are considered endangered in most of these areas.
Threats facing the Ussuri brown bear include illegal hunting, capture, loss of habitat and poaching. As a result, the animals have become extinct in some parts of Asia – including in South Korea. And to make matters worse, the species’ future in Japan looks far from certain.