wildlife sos effective in anti-poaching work
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.
The 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"
Geeta 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.
The 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.