Five endangered sloth bear cubs and two adults were rescued from wildlife smugglers
by Wildlife SOS and Bihar Police & Forest
Department. Three traders arrested as a result.
Five endangered sloth bear cubs and two
sub-adult bears were rescued by the Anti-poaching unit of Wildlife SOS and One
Voice from the Banka district of Bihar in the
wee hours of Friday morning. Three traders have been arrested by the Police
in this connection.
The five male bear cubs are between 3 - 5 weeks old
and have been separated from their mothers in the wild. Mother bears are usually
killed by poachers to remove the cubs. Of the two adults rescued, one is male and one is female.
The week long operation undertaken by Wildlife SOS
India, which involved intelligence gathering about bear cubs and bear cub
poachers, resulted in a night long anti operation in the remote areas of
Banka district of Bihar and a series of raids
by the Bihar Police assisted by Wildlife SOS Anti poaching units.
Sloth bear is a protected wildlife species included under Schedule 1 of the
Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Wildlife SOS and its partners have worked over a
decade to prevent the illegal trade in bear cubs and have brought an end to the
barbaric centuries old long Dancing bear trade in india.
Presently a few dancing bears still exist in Nepal
and are in hiding.
According to Kartick
Satyanarayan, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Wildlife SOS, " Our
anti poaching network works in 13 states that is largely known for poaching of
sloth bears and other wildlife. We contacted the DGP of Bihar who responded
positively and provided us the necessary police support through the SP of Banka
and SP of Bhagalpur. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Bihar has also been coordinating the shifting of these
bears with us. It is only with the support of the Govt that we can tackle
wildlife crime effectively. Wildlife SOS has been working to create alternative
livelihoods for kalandars to prevent bear cub poaching, but clearly this kind of
crime that has gone on for centuries will take a while to stop"
Seshamani - Co founder and Secretary for Wildlife SOS said "The poachers usually
kill the female bears in the forest in order to poach the bear cubs, who are
then sold to illegal wildlife traders, in South East Asia sometimes using routes
via Nepal. The paws of the baby bears are
cut off and used in bear paw soup delicacies, while other parts are used for
Chinese traditional medicine, including aphrodisiacs. Based on intelligence
gathered by Wildlife SOS, a three member team of the organization assisted the
Bihar police who raided two locations at Korma village and Bousi Bazar in
Banka at 3.20 AM and 5.30 AM respectively, from
where the bears were recovered. The Director General of Police, Govt of Bihar -
Mr Neelmani contacted the Police Superintendants of Bhagalpur and Banka districts who acted swiftly in providing police
forces to carry out the raids."
The state veterinary doctor of Banka
who carried out a medical examination of the rescued animals, said that they
were in a traumatized and dehydrated state and recommended the bears be shifted
immediately to the bear rehabilitation centre in Agra for necessary veterinary care.
Adult Bears were being used as dancing bears in Nepal and were just smuggled back into
India through Bihar. Both Bears have a thick rope pierced through their
muzzle and move or "dance" when these ropes are pulled in response to the pain.
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