by- Suvidha Bhatnagar
In a crucial rescue operation carried out by the Wildlife Protection Department and Wildlife SOS, an eight week old male bear cub was rescued near Dachigam National park in Srinagar. The Wildlife SOS team in Kashmir recieved a call in early morning hours about a tiny orphan bear cub spotted in a village. The Wildlife SOS team rushed in our vehicle and reached the location along with the officers from the Wildlife department. By the time they reached, the bear cub in panic at being surrounded by the villagers, ran for his life and climbed a tall tree for safety.
By the time Wildlife SOS team reached the location, the bear cub had out of fear firmly lodged himself on the tree top surrounded by the houses and paddy fields. The local people pointed out the bear cub to Wildlife SOS. Followed by this, Wildlife SOS and the department officials safely brought the cub down from the tree.
In the past, bears and leopards who had taken refuge up a tree, later were found to be burnt alive by hostile communities in Kashmir. The Wildlife SOS team was worried stiff that this bear cub may suffer a similar fate and wanted to move the bear out of this area at the earliest. The Wildlife SOS team led by Mrs Aaliya and Mr Tahir Gazanfar brought the bear cub back to the safety of the rescue centre in Dachigam. The Wildlife Protection Department officials facilitated the rescue operation and helped retrieve the frightened cub from atop the tree.
Mr. Rouf Zargar, Wildlife Warden, Central Division, Jammu & Kashmir said “We are delighted that our collaboration with Wildlife SOS has been fruitful and the rescued bear cub is safe under the care of Wildlife Protection Department and Wildlife SOS officials.”
According to Tahir Gazanfar, Project Coordinator- Wildlife SOS “The rescued cub was initially very frightened and weak. After a lot of comforting, coaxing and sustained efforts from Wildlife SOS team , the cub is now drinking milk and has settled comfortably with our keepers now. The bear cub is under observation currently at the bear rescue centre under the eagle eyes of our team. ”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS said “We are delighted that we are able to rescue this bear cub in time before any harm could come to the cub. We have a second team looking for the mother bear and if she is located, we will attempt to reunite the bear cub with his mother. We are very thankful to the Wildlife Protection Department, Jammu and Kashmir for their support. Their role is admirable in this entire rescue operation.”
Karine Hauser, CEO of Hauser Bears UK said “Our objective is to help mitigate the Human Bear Conflict through direct intervention , rescue, rehabilitation and education.”
Wildlife SOS runs the Moon Bear Conservation Project in Jammu & Kashmir in collaboration with the Wildlife Protection Department and with support from Hauser Bears UK.