Indian bear rehab team gets its collar back from Sange

IFAW-WTI team members peaking over a ledge to see Sange the bear cub.Last week, the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation team, including vet Dr. Jahan Ahmed and animal keepers, tracked one of two Asiatic black bears and removed its collar after tranquilising the animal.

The bear, along with four other orphaned cubs, was released in June 2011 in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh after prolonged rehabilitation. The Centre is a joint effort of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI).

The team removed the collar from “Sange” (about 26 months old), one of two collared bears. The team also plans to remove a collar from “Cachar” (about 25 months old), which was last seen in Dec. 2011 by an animal keeper somewhere near Khari, which is south of the bear camp).

We generally monitor the bears 7-8 months after collaring. Sange and Cachar were collared in June 2011 and the collars were expected to drop off in Feb. 2012. That didn’t look like that it was going to happen right away and with the bears growing bigger, it became time to remove the collars.

The three bears without collars—“Yali,” “Tali” and “Khonsi”--were seen with Sange in early November 2011 in Khari of Pakke Tiger Reserve and appeared to be doing well.

Before their release, the five cubs were hand-raised at the IFAW-WTI run Centre and relocated to Doo-Mukh near Khari of Pakke Tiger Reserve to acclimate them to their surroundings.

Three other cubs are currently undergoing ‘assisted release’ in Mehao WLS, Roing, Arunachal Pradesh. Though four cubs were shifted to the forest site for rehabilitation, one vanished on the fourth day of its acclimatization. The other three are being taken for daily walks into the forest at the release site.

--SB

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