A team from the nature conservation division (NCD) rescued an ensnared Himalayan black bear, which the local people had wounded from Haa on September 11.

The ensnared bear at Sama gewog was attacked with several arrows and a spear by the time the bear was rescued.

Deputy chief forest officer with NSD, Kuenzang Gyelthen, said that although people are allowed to set snares for pests within the periphery, they are not allowed to attack the endangered species caught in the snare. “The bear is under antibiotic course and we don’t know if the bear will survive.”

Himalayan black bear is one of the 23 totally protected wild animals and endangered in Bhutan.

Senior forest ranger with NSD, Tshencho Tshering, said that wildlife conservation division with the Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve conducted an awareness programme at Sama gewog in Haa in 2015. “If a wild animal is caught in a snare, the person must report to the nearest forest officials.”

Officials from the territory division, said, that the bear had come towards the apple orchard. The site rangers are investigating the case.

As per the forest and nature conservation rules and regulations of Bhutan 2017, no legal action shall be initiated against any individual, if proven that the animal has been killed in guarding the field or defending the property or in self-defense.

The territory officials also said that there has been minimum reported cases of attempt to kill and killing of wildlife in the past.

Kuenzang Gyelthsen said that the division is challenged with people who are unaware about dealing with wildlife and the rules. He said that in some cases, people bring bear cub found near the roads and settlements to NCD or even to their home. “They should be left at the place unless the cub is injured, because the mother would be around.”

He added that there are two Himalayan black bears at the NCD rehabilitation centre with the injured bear brought on September 11. “The bear is kept in an area that is about 20 to 15 meters, which is very small for the animals. The two bears will be here for life and space is a problem.”

The team from NCD rescued a bear from Taba yesterday morning, which was released the same day. Since 2011 until 2016, there were 82 rescue cases. Seven were rescued this year.

Phurpa Lhamo