VIDEO: Asiatic Black Bear Cub Returned to the Wild
Below is a story of a Asiatic black bear (aka moon bear) release in Northeast India. Our colleague Sashanka Barbaruah, a staff member at our partner organization the Wildlife Trust of India, has shared this and a video sequence of the release seen above. - Michael Booth
An Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) cub admitted to the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center by the Assam Forest Department officials after it was found in a village near Kaziranga National Park, was returned to the wild on Saturday.
The bear had ‘strayed’ into Dagaon on Friday morning. Estimated to be around eight-months-old, the male sub-adult bear was alone and no evidence of its mother was found from nearby forests.
“Although weaning takes place at about five months of age, bear cubs normally spend about two years with their mother. This cub must have been separated from its mother to be wandering into human settlements, perhaps for food,” said Dr Rathin Barman, Coordinator, IFAW-WTI. Fearing conflict with people, it was captured and brought to the Center .
“The bear was spotted in the village by locals who informed the Forest Department of its presence. Since we didn’t see its mother around we had to capture it and shift it to the Center ,” said Atiqur Rehman, Range Officer, Kohora, who was present during the rescue.
“We kept the bear under observation for a day. It was quite healthy and rather aggressive. We micro-chipped it and released it within the park limits,” said Dr Abhijit Bhawal, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center veterinarian.
Listed under Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act and classified ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of threatened species, the Asiatic black bear faces threats from poaching and habitat destruction. IFAW- WTI has handled 19 cases involving displaced bears in Assam, almost all of which are between the age of 1 and 12 months.
For more information on IFAW efforts to help save animals in crisis around the world, visit www.ifaw.org