Saturday, November 13, 2010

Maoist threat brings Bengal bears to B'lore

BANGALORE: Extremism in Naxal-hit parts of the country is not just affecting people but animals too. Fearing that Naxals would attack the Animal Rescue Center in Purulia, 22 rescued dancing bears were sent to the Bannerghatta Rescue Center on Friday.

"When the Purulia Forest Department and Animal Rescue Center received serious threats from Maoist insurgency groups to evacuate all staff from the forest area, we were concerned," said co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Kartick

Satyanarayanan. Maoist groups had pinned up posters with words 'Leave the forest if you wish to remain safe'.

Wildlife SOS then appealed to the West Bengal government, Central Zoo Authority and the Centre to help them evacuate the bears from the West Bengal Rescue Center.

"This was a serious concern since several wild animals, birds and snakes were burnt alive in a Maoist attack in December 2009 in Jhargram Zoo in West Bengal. The Central Zoo Authority requested the West Bengal government and Karnataka government to facilitate the emergency evacuation of these bears to ensure their safety," he said. The bears were transported in three large trucks with help from a team of about 12 trained staff and a veterinary doctor who travelled with the animals to ensure their safety and health. The bears will be monitored at the Bannerghatta centre before releasing them into the new habitat.

"The bears were sent because the organization feared they would be killed. We are happy to accommodate them in our park. Twelve of them are male and 10 female," principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) B K Singh told TOI.

Read more: Maoist threat brings Bengal bears to B'lore - The Times of India

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