Bandipora, Nov 16: The Wildlife Department officials in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district caged two black bears from a human settlement after efforts for a week, much to the relief of the villagers.
The locals said that the bears had been attacking domestic animals near the forest in Ahamshareef, forcing the villagers to seek help from the authorities.
Fida Hussain, the Incharge Wildlife Department official in Bandipora, told Greater Kashmir that they had been camping in the area for over a week to catch the bears.
“We were successful on Wednesday and Thursday and caught two adult male and female bears,” he said.
Hussain said that many bears had come down from the forests to feed on apples and corn.
“But with the harvesting season ending, they had now begun to attack human settlements within the village and on some occasions killing the domestic animals,” he said.
Hussain said that dozens of sheep were recently killed by bears in the nearby Arin village.
He said that though the villagers had heaved a sigh of relief after the bears were caught, he warned that several bears were roaming in different villages, especially Arin.
“There are more bears in the area, their population has increased manifold this time around,” Hussain said.
He said that the cameras captured at least three bears roaming in Arin village.
The officials said that they were trying their best despite an acute shortage of manpower in the department in the district.
“The bears that were caged in the animal trap were then tranquilised and shifted to a rehabilitation centre in Chitirnaar,” officials said. “They were later released into the forests far away from human settlements.”