Officials catch sloth bear, but which one is it?

The forest officials from Tumakuru came to BBBP to ascertain if it was was the same nine-year old male bear that they were after, that had been captured in Tumakuru. 

Published: 11th April 2021 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2021 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

A camera trap image of the sloth bear shared by the forest department | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Even as officials from the Karnataka Forest Department, Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP) and Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) claimed to have caught the elusive wild sloth bear that had evaded capture so far, they are now wondering if it was the same bear they were after. That is not all. Soon after the sloth bear walked into a cage kept in BBBP, photos and videos of bears being sighted in urban areas and villages were sent to officials. 

The forest officials from Tumakuru came to BBBP to ascertain if it was was the same nine-year old male bear that they were after, that had been captured in Tumakuru.  A morphological analysis of the captured bear on Saturday and the samples collected of the Tumakuru bear confirmed that they were different. “Since the bear is healthy and all its claws and canines are intact, we decided to release the bear in a different habitat,” a Forest Department official told The New Sunday Express.

The BBBP staffers confirmed that the Tumakuru bear ran into the Byrappanahalli village side after escaping from the cage. A dart was also fired, but they could not confirm if it hit the bear. “We suspect that the bear, if it was hit, hid in the bushes and slept. A DNA analysis will show if this was the same bear that attacked six people. The analysis takes more than a month, but till then, we do not want to keep the other bear in captivity, as it is healthy,” the official added.

However, now, officials are trying to find out about the other bears wandering around where the Tumakuru bear went. On Friday night, there were reports of a sloth bear sighting in Byrappanahalli village and later in Begihalli. On Thursday, a bear sighting was reported near Electronics City. “In the past few days, we have received at least 10 calls from different locations.

Around 5-6 videos, photographs and CCTV footage has also been shared with us. We are now finding it difficult to track them as all are from different locations,” an official said.  Officials admitted that during the lockdown, many bears were seen wandering around. However, after more vehicles started plying on roads, more such cases were cropping up.

sloth bear


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