MANSEHRA: The black bear, which had attacked and seriously injured a woman and her son last week, was found shot dead along with her two cubs in Hangrai area of Kaghan valley on Tuesday.

“Yes, someone has shot and killed a black bear and her two cubs as the bear family had come down to populated area after the heavy snowfall and injured two people last week,” Khursheed Abbasi, range officer of wildlife department, told mediapersons.

A team of wildlife department, led by district forest officer wildlife Mohammad Faiq Khan, reached the Hungrai following the killing of black bear and her two cubs and sensitised the local community to the importance of wildlife in the area.

“Animals would possibly come down in search of food as high mountains, which are their natural habitat, have received a heavy snowfall and you should protect yourself instead of killing them,” said Mr Abbasi.

Bear family had attacked and hurt a woman and her son last week

The bear family had seriously injured one Sajid and his mother last week. Sources said that Mr Sajid was referred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, from Ayub Medical Complex, Abbottabad, after his condition deteriorated.

According to the hospital sources, Mr Sajid had lost his one eye and was referred to Islamabad for better treatment. The high mountains of Mucchi and Nagha in Kaghan valley, which received the heaviest snowfall so far during this winter, are the natural habitat of the black bear and snow leopards.

Mr Abbasi said that the wildlife department was also investigating whether the bear and cubs were killed intentionally or in self-defence.

“If it was found that the three black bears were killed intentionally then we would lodge an FIR against members of the local community involved in the shooting,” he said, adding that the community living in areas near the habitat of animals should be vigilant to avoid attacks.

The range officer said that as a precautionary step the community should send their children to school together and graze the animals in herds.

SEEDS NOT FOR EATING: The livestock department has alerted the farmers that the seeds being distributed under the Insaf Food Security Programme (IFSP) in the district are only for cultivation, and not for human or animal consumption.

“We are asking the farmers that they should not eat these seeds and also keep their animals and poultry away from it after cultivation,” Dr Mohammad Rafiq Mughal, district director livestock, told mediapersons on Tuesday.

He said that seeds were dipped in chemicals against possible wheat plant diseases and the farmers should wash their hands after using them. He also asked the farmers not to eat or mix it with other sort of seeds. He said that the livestock department had taken the responsibility of creating awareness among farmers of safe use of this seed for cultivation.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2015



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