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Orphaned Asiatic black bears back to the wild
Published on 31 May. 2009 11:54 PM IST
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The International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) and the Assam Forest Department have returned to the wild three orphaned Asiatic black bear cubs they had hand-raised. The bears were acclimatised to the wild conditions through daily walks in the forest in Manas National Park, following a soft-release protocol called ‘assisted release.’ The bears are currently being monitored with the help of radio-telemetry. This is the third such batch to be successfully sent back to the wild in India. The first two batches were rehabilitated by the IFAW-WTI and Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department in 2006 and 2008 respectively in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh. “Unlike in the initial stages of their rehabilitation, the bears haven’t returned to the acclimatisation camp. We have been tracking them with the help of radio-collars fitted during the last phase of their rehabilitation,” said Dr. Bhaskar Choudhury, IFAW-WTI veterinarian in-charge of the project. The bears were rescued by the Assam Forest Department in three different incidents from local people, who held them captive around March 2008. They were handed over to the lower Assam unit of the IFAW-WTI Mobile Veterinary Services for hand-raising and eventual rehabilitation.

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