Runaway Himalayan bear found in eucalyptus grove

Animal brought back to BBP after 4-hour operation

Runaway Himalayan bear  found in eucalyptus grove

 A 15-year-old female Himalayan black bear, which escaped from the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) on Thursday, was traced on Friday morning.

Soon after the caretaker learnt that the bear had escaped, a team from the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), along with officials from the SOS centre, was pressed into a search-and-rescue operation. Also, the BBP and Forest department staff had issued an alert to all villages around Bannerghatta.

The bear was found by the team and was brought back to its shelter after a four-hour-long operation. The animal was found resting in an eucalyptus grove at Begihalli, four kilometres from the BBP rescue centre from where it had escaped.
‘Escaped through gap’

Bannerghatta National Park Director Santosh Kumar said though the fence walls were high (around 22 feet) with a 16-foot sheet cover, there was a small gap on one side towards the forest area.

The gap had been created due to rusting of the metal sheet.
The animal exerted force, widened the opening and escaped. As she had escaped through the barbed fence, she had sustained minor injuries and is undergoing treatment.
BBP veterinarian Dr Manjunath Reddy said that six months ago, under the animal exchange programme, they had got a pair or Himalayan black bears – a male and a female – for breeding and display. While the male bear had adjusted, the female was very aggressive, despite her old age. This was the first time in six months that the female had been brought out into the open from its enclosure.

Kumar said they had decided not to keep the bear in the enclosure for public viewing, but to house the animal in the rescue centre till it calmed down.

The BBP has seven Himalayan black bears, apart from the 86 sloth bears – rescued from kalandars who exploited them for earning a living by making them dance on the streets – housed in the Bannerghatta National Park SOS centre.


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