Orphaned bear cubs to be released in the wild

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Itanagar: Four orphaned Asiatic black bear cubs raised at a rehabilitation centre near Kaziranga National Park in Assam have been shifted to Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh yesterday for rehabilitation in the wild. Two of the rescued cubs – three males and a female – were found in jhum cultivated areas in north Tripura.

The third was found in Medo under Namsai sub-division in Arunachal Pradesh, and the fourth form Sonai in Assam`s Sonitpur district, official sources said here today. Twenty-six such cubs were rehabilitated by various organisations in North-East India so far. The rehabilitation process began in 2006. The cubs would be taken for daily walks in the forest to gradually acclimatize them to the wild beginning this week, officials said.

The cubs would be accompanied by caretakers who are based at the release site in Roing. Once the cubs are able to fend for themselves, they would be radio-collared and monitored remotely to confirm survival in the wild, sources said. The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in North-East India are facing threats of extinction mainly because of frequent cases of displacement, conflicts with people and poaching.

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