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ISLAMABAD: Wildlife field staff on Friday confiscated another Himalayan black bear from Kuri Road.

After an operation in collaboration with the Punjab Wildlife Department, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) presented the case of the confiscated black bear before a magistrate. The court ordered that the endangered animal be transferred to the only bear sanctuary in Balkasar.

“The caretaker of the bear was sent to jail,” said IWMB field officer Zaheer Khan.

The three-year-old bear is in good health. The poachers had, however, clipped its nails, pulled out its teeth and put a metal nose ring on it, the official said.

This is the second black bear confiscated in a month. Earlier, a six-month-old cub was recovered by the wildlife management board staff in the capital.

According to another official, cubs of black bears can only be captured after killing the mothers and when it’s only two to three weeks old. After three weeks, the cub grows big enough to defend itself.

“After the poachers capture the cub they broke its teeth and pierced a nose ring. The cub grows up thinking the nose ring is part of its anatomy,” the official added.

Bears are not just used for street performances but also in fights with dogs, he said.

He quoted a report from 2004 which declared the Himalayan black bear critically endangered.

“If not protected, the Himalayan black bear will disappear from the wild and become extinct. Successive governments have failed to take measures to protect and conserve wildlife, especially endangered species,” the official added.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2019