Poachers intercepted; Endangered Sloth Bear confiscated on Indo-Nepal border by Wildlife SOS, Forest Department & Police. Recuperating at Agra Bear Rescue Facility.
A gang of poachers in possession of an endangered sloth bear was intercepted by the Forest Department on a tip off and intelligence confirmed by Wildlife SOS. A live bear was seized along the Indo Nepal border area of Jharkhand. The joint operation carried out by the Jharkhand Forest Department and Wildlife SOS with support from the Police resulted in a very dramatic situation with a very hostile stand off between the offenders and their local supporters and the Police and Forest team. The drama unfolded in a remote village of Mundahari in Giridih district of Jharkhand. As a result of the hostile situation the offenders managed to flee from the authorities but not before they abandoned the female bear tied to a tree.
Wildlife SOS representative Mr Baiju Raj who was coordinating the raid operation with the team on the ground and the Jharkhand Forest Department said “When the team tried to rescue the bear and arrest the offender, they were suddenly surrounded by a very hostile and angry mob who outnumbered the police force attempting to stall the operation to give the offenders time to flee. Additional Police reinforcements had to be called in to bring the mob under control and extricate the bear and the rescue team to safety.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS said “A female bear was found tied to a tree in the scorching sun appears to be about 6 to 7 years old. The bear was found to have bleeding nails, broken teeth, and a pierced infected muzzle with a course rope forced through the raw infected wound. It appears the bear was used in Nepal for bear dancing purposes.”
Kartick Satyanarayan Wildlife SOS co founder who heads the Wildlife Crime Intelligence Network for Wildlife SOS and is a Special Officer for the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau said ” We intercepted this intelligence in Nepal and tracked the information until we could locate the offenders. We were anticipating more wildlife contraband with these offenders, but they managed to escape the authorities this time. We are grateful to the Jharkhand Forest Department and DFO Giridih, PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden, Jharkhand who made this operation a success”
Dr.Ilayaraja, Wildlife SOS Senior Veterinary Officer at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility where the bear is currently recuperating and is under medical care said “The bear was in a lot of pain as it appears the offenders were trying to remove the claws and perhaps even the paws from the live bear to sell the body parts, possibly for traditional Chinese medicine. The animal has suffered severe trauma and will require extensive veterinary care. We will initially place her in Quarantine where she will be screened for disease and subjected to a detailed veterinary health examination. Once the bear’s health stabilizes, we will start rehabilitation process in large forested enclosures at the Wildlife SOS Agra Bear Rescue Facility.”
DFO Giridih, Mrs. Smitha Pankaj said, “Our Forest department congratulates everyone involved with the success of this operation. We shall do our best to stop exploitation of wildlife within the state and save the diverse flora and fauna of the country”.
The Wildlife SOS Anti Poaching Unit is supported by Hauser Bears UK and HSI Australia. Wildlife SOS is working with sloth bears since 1995 and in partnership with Indian Government and international partners IAR UK & FTB Australia successfully ended the illegal and brutal practice of Dancing Bears across India by creating alternative livelihood for kalandar community while rescuing 627 bears from illegal captivity.