IFAW returns rehabilitated black bears to wild in India
"Bears across India are disappearing due to increased poaching and habitat destruction," said A.J. Cady, IFAW's Director of Animals in Crisis and Distress, "This is a unique and vital program fighting to protect Asia's black bears and we are working very hard to assure its success as a model for all of India."
"The first three years of the project has been a learning experience for us. Now that we have standardized the right protocol, we are confident of success in this venture. This is the first time that this exercise is being carried out in five bears, simultaneously as a group. At time be interesting to know when and how they will start a life of their own, as bears in the wild are solitary by habitat", said NVK Ashraf, Director, Wild Rescue,WTI.
CBRC, which can rehabilitate up to 16 bears at a time, is situated on the
banks of the Pakke River amidst lush, tropical, semi-evergreen forests – a
perfect dwelling place for bear cubs. The center is the only project of its kind
in India, rehabilitating Asiatic black bears and returning them to the wild.
Asiatic black bears are killed by tribal hunters throughout Arunachal Pradesh and often, when a mother is shot or abandons her cubs, hunters catch the bear cubs. In the past, tribe members often raised the cubs, until the forest department stopped the practice and began sending orphaned cubs to the Itanagar Zoo to live out their lives. It wasn't until the establishment of CBRC that the process of rehabilitating and returning bears to the wild was undertaken in India.
About WTI (Wildlife Trust of India)
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), is a non-profit conservation organisation, committed to urgent action that prevents destruction of India's wildlife. Formed in November 1998, WTI was created in response to the rapidly deteriorating condition of wildlife in India
IFAW and WTI formed a partnership in 2000 to strengthen the cause of wildlife conservation and animal welfare in India. The two organizations share concerns for a number of endangered animals, including the Tibetan antelope. Through this collaboration, IFAW and WTI are developing strategies to find solutions to wildlife threats in India and the surrounding region.