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Orphaned bear cubs returned to wild in Assam park (May)

  Three orphaned bear cubs found in a national park here, were let into the wild Thursday by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The IFAW-WTI representatives said the orphaned Asian black bear cubs (Ursus thibetanus) were found in December last year in three different villages located on the fringes of Assam's Manas National Park, which is also a Unesco world heritage site. "With their mothers presumably killed, the cubs were captured and handed over to the Forest Department for care and rehabilitation," an official added. The IFAW-WTI has rehabilitated 31 Asian black bear cubs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.


In most cases, the cubs were hand-reared, and following a gradual process involving daily walks into the forest, were released back into the wild. "The three cubs were nearly a year old when admitted to our rehabilitation centre. At present, they are kept in an 'in situ' enclosure fabricated at the release site in the Doimari range of the National park," said Bhaskar Choudhury, regional head for the IFAW-WTI's northeast India unit. "They will then be radio-collared and released from the enclosure. The cubs are monitored post-release for a period of around six months with the help of radio-collars," he added. The Asian black bear is classified as 'vulnerable' in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.

Hindustan Times, Delhi, Friday 2nd May 2014