Asiatic black bear rescue centre admits two new cubs

IFAW-WTI keeper feeds one of the rescued bears.Two male Asiatic black bear cubs, estimated to be between one and two months old, were recently rescued and brought to Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation (CBRC), a joint initiative of the Wildlife Trust of India and the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Pakke Tiger Reserve.

Local labourers had taken them from the hollow of a tree trunk about a month ago and handed them over to their contractor, who had apparently expressed the desire to keep them as pets.

CBRC Veterinary Surgeon Dr Rinku Gohain and a Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) team spoke to the contractor, who handed them over to them. Reuniting the cubs with their mother proved impossible since the locals had varying accounts as to her status—some saying that she had been chased away, others indicating that she had been poached a few days prior.

Fifty-one orphaned bears have been successfully hand-raised and rehabilitated under IFAW-WTI’s Asiatic Black Bear Rehabilitation Project. CBRC was established as part of the project in 2002 with the express aim of rehabilitating displaced bear cubs back to the wild, thereby minimising the number of orphaned cubs ending up in lifetime care in zoos. The Centre is supported by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department.

READ: Orphan bear rescue centre releases six more cubs into the wild

The two bear cubs will be hand-raised until they are weaned, then taken to a carefully selected release site deep inside Pakke. Here, they will be taken for daily walks by an animal keeper who will act as a faux parent, enabling them to explore the wilderness until they are demonstrably capable of living independently in the jungle.

Finally, they will be fitted with radio transmitters and released. Post-release monitoring will continue to ensure that they are properly reintegrated into the wild.

--RGC

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