Nepal returns smuggled bear ‘Rangila’ to India

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 15, 2018-

An endangered sloth bear, which was smuggled to Nepal nearly seven months ago, has been returned to India following a coordinated effort of responsible bodies of the two countries.

The 19-year-old male bear ‘Rangila’ along with his companion 17-year-old ‘SriDevi’ were smuggled to Nepal as dancing bears in December 2017.

Following the spotting of the bears at the Indo-Nepal border, a team of Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental organisation working for conservation of wildlife, had tracked their movement. The Nepali authorities had rescued the bears and taken to a temporary housing in the Central Zoo in Kathmandu. However, Sridevi died in the zoo.  

Thanks to a 48-hour repatriation mission, carried out by Wildlife SOS and the Jane Goodall Institute in Nepal, the bear made a return journey home on Wednesday after traveling nearly a 1,000km from Kathmandu to the Agra Bear Rescue Centre in Uttar Pradesh, its new home.

It took almost seven months for getting the approvals from the authorities in both countries, including import permits, at several levels before the animal could be sent back to India.

Chiranjibi Prasad Pokheral, project manager at the Central Zoo said, “We are happy to collaborate with the Nepal and India governments and the Wildlife SOS in this repatriation mission. We are looking forward to having more opportunities to exchange ideas and knowledge about animal welfare and conservation efforts.”

Published: 15-07-2018 08:14

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