Bear Cub Rescued – Mama killed
Kaziranga, India - March 2, 2007
Villagers in Khsiapung village have handed over an infant bear cub to a local NGO after her mother was brutally killed by poachers in Karbi Anglong district in the Northeastern Indian state of Assam. The orphaned cub was picked up by some villagers for use as pet animal, after her mother was killed for its body parts. The caretaker fed her with cow milk.
The NGO later brought the cub to CWRC (Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation) for care."We appealed to the villagers to hand over the cub, since it would have died." Shimanta Goswami of Green Guard Nature Organization (GGNO), said.
"Incidents of bear cubs raised as pet animals have been reported in Arunachal Pradesh, though it is a rare case in Assam." Dulu Bora, who led the rescue operation said.
Body parts of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are also used in making traditional Chinese medicines and for consumption. The NGO has now launched a search operation in the area to find out if there are other bears in captivity.
"People here depend on forest resources for sustenance and many are traditional hunters. They use "Goza Bondhuk" a handmade gun to shoot these animals down." Goswami said.
Asiatic black bear is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The bear is also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
This is the fourth bear cub to be rehabilitated at the centre.
The other three cubs were shifted to the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation (CBRC) in Pakke in Arunachal Pradesh to undertake the "Walk the Bear Programme" – a process, which acclimatizes the bear to wilderness before their release.
"The cub has gained about a kilogram since it arrived at the centre in February." Dr. Anjan Talukdar, the veterinarian at CWRC, said.
CWRC is India’s first multi-species rehabilitation centre – set up in the year 2000 in partnership between Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Assam Forest Department.