Bear menace in villages close to national park

- DIPENDRA SHAKYA, SANKHUWASABHA

Feb 25, 2016-

Himalayan black bears have been causing problems in human settlements near Makalu Barun National Park in Shankhuwasabha district.

Around nine VDCs close to the national park have been dealing with the bear menace for more than 20 years. Dhyan Kulung of Tamku VDC said they have lost their crops and livestock to bears against whom they have no defence. 

“Bears have also attacked several people in the past. Most of the victims were the people collecting fodder in the forest,” Kulung said.

According to the national park, bears have mauled at least 25 people, one fatally, in the past. Cattle and livestock are more vulnerable. As many as 142 domesticated animals have been killed by bears till date.Prabin Rai, another Tamku VDC local, said they have not received any compensation for their loss so far.

“Many of us have lost our crops and cattle to bears. Several people have been injured. We have not received anything from the park authority or the government so far, nor have they made the effort to mitigate the human-bear conflict,” Rai said. 

Manjit Bista, the park’s ranger, said though Himalayan black bears are vulnerable species, people see them as pesky creatures because of the troubles they cause.

“Such negative attitude towards these creatures will only threaten their existence. The authority should make sure they do not wander off from their habitat,” he said. 

Published: 25-02-2016 09:15

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