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Into the wild: Two black bear cubs released

Published: June 15, 2016

GILGIT: Two black bear cubs seized by authorities from a villager in Diamer Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan have been released into the wild after treatment.

“The cubs were healthy and able to eat on their own,” Divisional Forest Officer Raja Arif told The Express Tribune on Tuesday, a day after the release.

One of the cubs had a wound on his foot when wildlife authorities seized them from a villager in Tangir valley of Diamer district in May. The one-month-old cubs were crying of hunger when spotted by villagers who decided to feed them. “The cubs were happy to be back in their habitat,” Arif said.

The cubs were kept at a rehabilitation centre where they were provided food and treatment for nearly a month before being released back into the wild. “We have deputed staff to look after the cubs.”

Tariq Shah, another official of the wildlife department, said the mother had been spotted in the area by locals. “There are reports she is around.”

Referring to local accounts, Shah said the mother became so desperate after her cubs went missing that she uprooted the tree at which she left them last month.

“This is what locals told us,” Shah added. “We are sure she will be happy to see her kids back.”

The black bear, found in G-B, is not a threatened species. However, hunting and poaching the animal is strictly prohibited under wildlife laws.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2016.

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