An adult female Asiatic black bear was safely rescued from human habitation and released back to the recently recognized Raimona National Park in Western Assam’s Kokrajhar district on Saturday.
A joint team of the Kachugaon Forest Division of Assam forest department, IFAW-WTI and other NGOs along with local villagers rescued the black bear on Friday.
The presence of an Asiatic black bear in the locality was witnessed by the villagers of Rampur, Nabin Nagar area under Sanfan forest range of Raimona National Park.
The animal was seen moving around the scrubland habitat attached to the village.
The joint forest force of Sanfan along with Central Forest Range under Kachugaon Forest Division immediately reached the site and cordoned the area.
They kept an eye on the bear and informed MVS Western Assam unit of IFAW-WTI & AFD run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) stationed in Kokrajhar.
The MVS Western Assam unit of CWRC led by wildlife veterinarian Dr. Daoharu Baro, along with Nazrul Islam, Field Biologist and animal keepers Keshab Pathak and Debojit Saikia reached the site and did the initial spot survey for the safe capture of the animal.
The animal was shifting its place very frequently, which was an important point of concern before the team sedated the animal with utmost caution.
After some time when the animal was found in a suitable condition under a controlled environment, the team executed the plan of chemical immobilization and that worked successfully.
“Animal safety was our first priority along with the crowd management. With the support of the WTI –MVS team we have successfully saved the animal from human habitation and released her at a suitable location in the wilderness of Raimona National Park,” said Bhanu Sinha, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Kachugon Forest Division.
Sinha added that the rescue of the Asiatic Black Bear signifies the presence of the animal in the newly notified Raimona National Park.
After chemical capture, the animal was shifted to a cage for overnight observation on Friday in presence of the IFAW-WTI MVS team at Sanfan Forest Range.
Dr. Daoharu Baro, Wildlife Veterinarian of IFAW-WTI MVS team (Kokrajhar), said, “The situation was extremely challenging for saving the animal. We also noticed an iron spear on the hairy neck of the animal. After the animal was chemically immobilized, we examined the animal physically and removed the same following necessary medication. After overnight observation, the Asiatic black bear was released in the wild on Saturday.”
The rescue and release of the animal has physically established the presence of the Asiatic black Bear in Raimona National Park, the recently recognised national park in Assam.