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27 July, 2009

Trapped Sloth Bear rescued & released in state forest

As told, with his pictures, by:
Mr.TVN Murthy
Honorary Wildlife Warden, Tumkur District, Karnataka and
Founder Advisor, WANC, Tumkur.
Email: tvnmurthy at vsnl dot com

©TVN Murthy (All rights reserved) 
Dear Friends,

It was yet another incident of Sloth bear being trapped by the farmers at Pandithanahalli near Hirehalli of Tumkur Taluk.

It is common in Tumkur district for farmers to set up traps to catch wildboars that venture into farm land for food. This was unfortunate for a well built adult male sloth bear on the night of 20 July 2009. It was trying to cross the barbed wire fence of a farm land near TVS Electronics at Pandithanahalli. The trap hooked the front leg of the bear sometime during night and the animal was crying for help after that.

©TVN Murthy (All rights reserved) 
Early morning on 21 July, the local forest department officials and WANC took a local veterinary doctor to release the animal. The animal was sedated even as it was trapped. When the sedation was in effect it was manually released from the trap and put into a cage.

The entire operation to successfully catch the animal and safely release it near Nayakana Kere inside Devarayanadurga State Forest, took about 3 hours. Mr. Naik, RFO, Tumkur Range and Mr.Boregowda, Forester were present during the operation.

©TVN Murthy (All rights reserved) 

©TVN Murthy (All rights reserved) 
It is to be noted that 11 days into the release, there have been no reports of this (or any) bear attacking humans or entering villages surrounding this state forest.

WANC, led by TVN Murthy has been working to conserve the lesser wildlife of Eastern Karnataka, which gets far less attention (and funding) both by the Government agencies and non-Government agencies.

WANC has been actively work for a sloth-bear sanctuary/ conservation reserve in Madhugiri State Forest and its surroundings in Tumkur district, south-eastern Karnataka.