Two orphaned black bears rescued in Kashmir need a new home

Two Asiatic black bears living in Kasmir need a new home. Sharda and Narda were found as babies on the Pakistan side of Kashmir.

The tiny bear cubs were found in the Himalayan region, Muhammad Ashraf, an official with the wildlife and fisheries department in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, told Reuters.

“We rescued them (bear cubs) from there. At that time, they were tiny, exactly like little kittens, and could hardly open their eyes,” Ashraf said. He said that they tried to find the mama bear but couldn’t find her.

“When we first brought them here, we had no idea what to do with them, how to care for them. It was our first experience with bears,” Ashraf said.

They gave Sharda and Narda bottled milk for two months. Then they were fed fruit and veggies and slowly introduced to other foods, including wheat and maize.

Bears are getting bigger
“Now, since they are growing up, they are becoming aggressive and difficult to handle. They are animals, wild animals. They can do anything, any time. They can attack anyone and harm someone,” Afsraf said concerned.

“So, of course, we feel there is a danger to us. That is why we have been demanding, even writing (to superiors), that they should be shifted to a proper place. Here we do not have the cages, the type of accommodation, that is suitable for them,” he added.

Animals are affected by the Pakistan-India conflict
Years of conflict in Kashmir between India and Pakistan have not only taken a toll on humans. Wildlife is also affected; especially the 12-foot high fence along the border makes it difficult for animals to move freely in their natural habitat.

Ashraf recalls that a few years back, department staff spotted a black bear that had died from being blown up by a landmine. “This is what … would be happening with many wild animals, but we rarely come to know about it,” Asraf said.

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