September 21, 2016, Thimphu: Including the two Himalayan Black bears rescued on September 5 and another one three days later on 8, the wildlife rescue centre in Taba has rescued the third bear in the month on September 18. This one, a male weighing 51 kgs was rescued from right in the periphery of the capital city, behind the pension housing colony.
Rescue officials expressed their surprise with the boldness of the bear to venture right in the periphery of the town with lots of hustle and bustle. “It was indeed a big surprise to sight a Himalayan Black bear just next to the town,” said a rescue team member, Tsencho Tshering. He said it is unusual for a bear to prowl into an area heavily dominated with human. The heavy vehicular movements should have been too noisy for the bear to bear the nuisance.
According to the report, a person residing in the area first sighted a giant black bear just near her vegetable garden at around 1:00 pm. The residents tried to shoo away and drive it back to the forest. But instead, the bear climbed on a grant willow tree in the middle of vegetable garden. When the bear refused to budge and fearing attack, the residents informed the rescue officials for help.
The moment they got the information, the rescue officials has picked up the equipment and reached the site without any delay. They found that the bear has taken refuge on a willow tree from the uneasy crowds and the stray dogs.
The rescue attempt prolonged into the night as the sedation took time to effect. “It was indeed a very inconvenient to dart the bear blocked by the branches of the willow tree,” said Chimi Dorji, another rescue team member. The rescue team teased the bear coercing it to climb down to a safer height. This is because, darting it at height risk the bear falling on ground with force and sustaining injury. The bear, after much coercing, slowly climbed down to a fork of the willow tree to just one to two meters height from the ground.
With bear having climbed down to safer height, the team took to darting immediately. But it was already dark and due to insufficient lighting, taking a good aim and an accurate shot was difficult. Yet, the experience paid and they were able to dart the bear on the right spot. The team after successfully sedating the bear and investigating it for any injury transferred it to transportation crate. They were helped by police officials especially in crowd management and the other rescue operations.
The rescued bear is currently kept at the wildlife rescue mini captive zoo for observation.
Reported by Ugyen Tshering, ICS
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