Gangtok, Nov. 5: The Himalayan black bear that mauled two forest officers yesterday was released in the wild after spending a night at a zoo.
The animal had ambled into Setey Bazar near Gangtok early yesterday and was caught after a hide-and-seek played out for over six hours. During the confrontation, two forest officers were clawed while the third was injured when he fell while fleeing and the bear was taken to Himalayan Zoological Park in Bulbuley, 5km from here, after it was darted.
This morning, it was sent to the reserve forest at Kupup close to the Memencho lake, about 70km from here, to be released. Kupup in East Sikkim is close to the Chinese border and Nathu-la. Sources at the Bulbuley zoo said the bear had fully recovered from the effects of the tranquilliser and had been fed meat.
Subba and Gurung were flown by a helicopter to a nursing home in Siliguri at 3.30pm yesterday.
Senior forest officials said the bear might have come in search of food from the nearby Rateychu reserve forest. The Himalayan black bear is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act and is among the most endangered species.