Srinagar: It was a happy family reunion after a mother bear and her two cubs were successfully rescued from the Buchwara area of Dalgate on Thursday morning.
The animals were later released at Dachigam National Park.
After getting multiple calls, a team of eight members from the wildlife department, Kashmir, launched a rescue mission to capture the black bear, whose presence had instilled strong fear among the locals.
“We received a lot of calls. There was a strong apprehension of man-animal conflict as it often came down to the habitation. Hence, our rescue team headed by forester Abdul Rehman was asked to launch the operation,” Wildlife Warden, Central, Altaf Hussain told The Kashmir Monitor.
To their surprise, the team found bear along with her two baby cubs in a den.
“It became a tall task and there were cubs also involved. To get the bear tranquilized first and then dislocated came as a challenge. However, our rescue team worked throughout the night, the bear family was rescued and released in the morning,” Hussain said.
Human-wildlife conflict in the valley has shown a surge in the last one-and-a-half decade. The major species in conflict with humans include the Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) and the Common Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca). In the man-animal conflict, approximately 25 percent of forest divisions in the UT reported bear-human conflict.
As many as 208 people were killed and 2657 others injured in different incidents of man-animal conflict in the Kashmir Valley from 2015-19
Figures released by Wild Life Department revealed that the highest number of 87 deaths were reported from North Kashmir followed by 85 from South Kashmir and 27 from Central Kashmir. The rest of the deaths have been reported from the wetlands.
The 2014-15 has been bloodiest with 28 people falling prey to wild animals. 2018-19 saw the lowest number of six deaths. Data revealed that 18 people died in 2006-07 while 15, 22, and 10 deaths occurred in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2013-14, and 2015-16 respectively.
Population explosion, disturbances of the natural habitat, rampant constructions near the forests and scarcity of food forces the wild animals to stray into the villages.