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Asiatic bears butchered

One of the carcasses of the two slaughtered Asiatic bears after its bile was removed by poachers, Monday. (Inset) The container used to poison the bears. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, AUG 18 (NPN):
Published on 19 Aug. 2008 1:38 AM IST
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Ten days before the official inauguration of the Rangapahar Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoological Park at Thilixu, Dimapur on August 28, poachers struck when two prized Asiatic bears, a male and female each weighing around 10 kilograms, were poisoned inside their cages. The poachers cut open the viscera of both bears and removed the biles. Forest sources said the incident occurred early Monday between 1 a.m to 2 a.m . The park is located in an area of around 176 hectares, surrounded by 6.6 km perimeter wall fencing. The carcasses were discovered only at around 6.20 a.m by the park staff. Officials said that the animals aged between 8 to 12 years were brought from Kohima in June this year According to Range Forest Officer Obed B.Swu, a wheatish colored substance inside a container was discovered inside the cage. He suspected that it was poisoned food item that might have been fed to the bears. He further said the biles would have been contaminated by the same poison that killed the bears and therefore, would have no medicinal value. Carcasses of the animals were being sent to the veterinary department for post-mortem According to Swu, the park was made as per the specification of Central Zoo Authority. Besides 25 Forest staff, there were around one dozen jawans of the 8 NAP deployed for protection. Bloodstains on the walls towards the main gate of the zoological park made officials suspect that the poachers jumped in through the wall and left the same way. Some of the animals include a female clouded leopard, three foxes, one giant owl, three hornbills, six sambar deer and four langurs. After the killing of the two Asiatic bears, the numbers has been reduced to six. Forest sources said the park also has a rescue centre that houses animals rescued during market raids. Meanwhile, the Naga Council has strongly condemned “such heinous and cruelty act upon the enclosed animals”. Noting that lack of sincerity and shortage of man power might have resulted in the incident, the Naga Council through a press release issued by its general secretary, W. Lemba Chang, urged the state government to provide adequate security in the sanctuary along with infrastructural development.

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