Saturday, November 14, 2009

Food Scarcity drives bears into human habitations of Sikkim

Gangtok,Nov14: Forest Department held a press conference Thursday at the Forest Secretriat on the burning issue of citing bear and their encounter with human beings in all the four districts of the state.
Mr. NT Bhutia, Conservator, Wild life, Mr. HP Pradhan, Chief Conservation Officer (CCF), Wild Life, Mr. Nambi Tshering Bhutia, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Kanchazdonga National Park (KNP) North and Usha Lachungpa, Research Officer spoke to media. They said, so far department has information about 13 bears, of which 9 have been sited and 5 encounters with human beings have been recorded within two months of October and November. “Today (Tursday), one ox became prey of a bear at Nambong near Ralong and a goat was also killed at Dickchu Dam side”, they informed.

Regarding encroachment of bears into human habitation they said, during this month there is lack of food in higher altitudes. Animals come down to villages for search for food.Rrapid increase in bear population has led to scarcity of food. Goshalas are banned in the state from 1998 and restriction in killing of juveniles has also led to increase in the population of wild animals. The wildlife department has planned to have village level meeting to make villagers aware of the threat, the officials informed.

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