Green Minute News

Although listed as vulnerable in the IUCN red list of threatened species, the Sloth Bear continues to be hunted for its body parts as also illegally used for entertainment. Five bears were rescued recently in an anti-poaching operation in Deogarh district, Jharkhand, India.

On a tip off, the bears were seized from poachers in a four hour long operation by the Jharkhand forest department. The bears were alive but severely traumatized and were being transported to Deogarh district by the poachers. Forest officials along with Wildlife SOS and the Jharkhand police force conducted the seizure operations in Deogarh while only one poacher was apprehended.

Five Sloth bears were seized from poachers in a joint operation in Jharkhand

Deogarh district forest officer Premjit Anand said, “The anti-poaching operation was a result of extensive planning for several days. As soon as the information was confirmed, we reacted immediately and seized the bears. Investigations are going on to nab others involved in the crime.”

B.K Singh, former PCCF and advisor to Wildlife SOS said it was a serious offence and non-bailable under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

One of the rescued sloth bears

Meanwhile, Baiju Raj M V, Director Conservation Projects said, “The bears are severely traumatized and require extensive medical treatment, and possibly surgical intervention.”

The Sloth bears were being brought to Deogarh to be sold to other middle men by the poachers. The population of the Sloth Bears in the wild is already severely threatened due to habitat loss, poaching, and retaliatory killing resulting in human bear conflict. 

The seizure was carried out by officers of the Forest Department and Police Force based on a tip off

P K Verma, Chief Wildlife Warden Jharkhand indicated his intolerance towards wildlife crime in the state. He said “Collaboration between NGOs and Forest Department brings forth positive results.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS added,”Sloth bears are a vulnerable species and poaching of this species must be prevented at all cost. These bears have been poached from the wild and such activities negatively impacts the wild population of the species.Bears are poached for reasons such as bile extraction, gall bladder and various body parts as well as for the dancing bear trade.”

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