Gangtok, April 02:

With the entire state silent due to the 21 days lockdown throughout the country, one Himalayan Black Bear emerged on the streets of Gangtok breaking the silence of Gangtok’s residents yesterday.

As per the information the Himalayan Black Bear was spotted near the BSNL office just below the old STNM Hospital in Gangtok on Wednesday morning at around 4.45 am. One local resident immediately informed the local authorities about the bear roaming freely.

Without taking much time, the local administration, police and a professional rescue team from Forest and Wildlife Management Department reached the spot to rescue the bear and start the rescue operation.

As the bear had already entered into the BSNL Building, the rescue team found it difficult to spot the bear and tranquillize it.

It took around 14 hours for the team to safely rescue the bear after tranquillizing it. The operation started in the morning from around 5 am and ended in the evening after 6 pm, with the bear finally in the custody of the concerned authorities. The bear will be in Himalayan Zoological Park under observation.

It may be mentioned here that before entering the BSNL Building, the bear injured one person, a BSNL Engineer named Arvind Yadav.
The team from wildlife was successful not just in rescuing the bear but also the person who was trapped in a room with the bear.  He sustained serious injuries and is currently being treated at the STNM Hospital, Sochyagang.

As per the Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Dechen Lachungpa, the rescued Himalayan Black Bear is classified under Schedule 1 of under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and is categorized as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

“Since the bear has jumped from one storey height so it may have sustained fracture so the department will take care of it and will be treating the injuries after that he will be released but in case the bear’s health is well, the department will be releasing the bear,” said the DFO Dechen Lachungpa. 

She also informed that three tranquillizer darts were used and that the bear rescue operation took a long time as there was no access to go through the bear. 

The weight of the bear is estimated to be over a 100 kgs and the DFO speculates that it may have come from the Kyongnosla Wildlife Sanctuary. 

During the rescue operation, the concerned Forest Minister, Karma Loday and other senior officials from the department were also present on the spot.

Due to the operation, the local police had to divert the road traffic via Sonam Gyatso Raod (Tibet Road) so as to carry the rescue operation without any disturbance.

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