Thursday 23 February 2012

At home in the wild – rehabilitated bear spotted safe and well

Another success for India's orphaned cub rescue programme
February 2012: A hand-reared two-year-old Asiatic black bear has been found thriving in the wild in north-east India. The discovery marks another success for the Wildlife Trust of India's (WTI) Asiatic black bear rehabilitiation programme.
The programme has seen 26 orphaned cubs raised and then released into the wild, with the latest sub-adult tracked to the Khari area of Pakke TR in Arunachal Pradesh.
Cub was brought in aged just five months‘This animal was brought to the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation in April 2010 from Donchimagre, Meghalya at the age of five months,' says WTI's chief vet Dr NVK Ashraf. ‘It was shifted to Khari for acclimatisation as part of a soft-release programme. The team has been monitoring it since its release.'
The team first located the bear on at the beginning of the month, tracking the signal from his radio-collar. They were aiming to tranquillise the animal, examine it and remove the collar if all was fine. The bear was, however, moving on the edge of a high, steep hill so tranquillising was not feasible until the following morning, when the animal was cornered and tranquillised using a dart.
'This is a good sign...'Dr Jahan Ahmed, the IFAW-WTI vet who led the team, said: ‘There were no external wounds, the mucus membrane was pink, the coat was lustrous, skin was soft and pliable and the body weight was normal.'
The animal was seen returning to its den after revival. Dr Sathyakumar, of WTI, said: ‘This is a good sign and normal behaviour. Black bears use caves and other natural crevices for resting. They may also use very dense undergrowth or thickets in undisturbed densely forested habitats.'

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