Dec 23, 2014
The remains of a bear buried in the Mala forest range of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve were recovered by authorities on Monday. The bear was likely killed about two months ago, officials said. The remains have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly for post-mortem examination. Environmentalists questioned the protection offered to animals in the reserve, and said the useful parts of the body may have been removed by poachers, who then buried the rest in the four-foot pit. Officials at the tiger reserve told TOI that a tip-off had been received in the matter earlier.
What was recovered was only a few bones and some rotten skin. Although the district forest officer had said that the remains were sent for a post-mortem examination, Amitabh Agnihotri, vice president of Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation Society, expressed surprise that in the absence of vital parts, a post-mortem was being conducted.
A forensic examination of the remains could have been conducted, Agnihotri said, adding that there was little to doubt that this was a case of poaching – if the animal had died a natural death, it would not have buried itself so deep, he said. He also added that the fact that the officials got a tip-off suggests that the man alerting officials was probably in touch with poachers too. Retired Indian Forest Service officer and ex-chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh Mohammad Ahsan said that the fat of the bear is used in many traditional medicines. While he served as director of Kanpur zoo, he had received requests for the fat of the bear when the animal had died, he said, adding that he had never acceded to any of these requests.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com