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Himalayan black bear released
Thimphu: Bears several times sighted
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Dechenchholing: Himalayan black bear was released
October 2003
The Himalayan black bear was tranquilised and released
About two years old and weighing about 45 kilogrammes, the male bear was found with a G I (galvanized iron) wire wrapped around its neck, according to forestry officials who set the bear free in the forest opposite the Dechenchholing town. A team of forestry officials led by the divisional forestry officer rushed to Dechenchholing after a resident in Dechenchholing had seen the bear. The bear was unhurt and was given antidotes to recover from the tranquilizers.


Thimphu area: Bears several times sighted

A driver of the royal body guards (RBG) was reported to have seen two bears in the morning just before the incident. He alerted the forestry officials when he heard loud growling and saw one bear fleeing. Some residents reported that a she bear with two cubs was seen in the forest opposite the town recently.

Thimphu residents sighted bears several times a week. A bear with a cub was spotted above the Yangchenphug higher secondary school. The bears came to feed on the peaches, but the dogs chased them. Another bear escaped from a trap set by a farmer in his garden.

According to forestry officials, frequent spotting of bears could be attributed to the strict anti poaching activities and the food gathering season of the bears. The bears will go into hibernation, so they are seen feeding on anything they can find in orchards and fields.

Contributed by Nima Wangdi ,KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper 2006


Bears torment farmers in Bumthang
Despite spending sleepless nights in the fields keeping vigil, farmers of Phodrong village in Tang are facing a difficult time guarding their sweet buckwheat (gerey) from bears.

The farmers stay awake till three to four in the morning with dogs tied near their makeshift huts and with bamboo mattings erected around the field boundary.

They also use powerful torches, which are kept on through the night. A farmer said that he finished a pair of large size torch batteries within two nights of vigil.

But the bears wait till dawn, when sleep lies heavy on the farmer's eyelids, to raid the fields. The destruction caused by the bears is different from other animals. The bear usually sits in the field and drag themselves smashing all the crops in its way.

According to the people of Phodrong, the bears feed mostly on the sweet buckwheat during this season. At this time the sweet buckwheat which is not fully ripe is quite juicy. In other months they feed on tender plants, fruits and wild berries known as marips in Bumthap.

Ugyen Lhendup, 22, from Phodrong said that during the flowering season the bears don't even come near the crop because it gives off an unpleasant smell.

Bears also do not come to the fields when the crop are fully ripened because by then the buckwheat would have become dry and hard.

Locally known as charai, sweet buckwheat is an important cereal for the Bumthaps chiefly because it is used to make their popular dishes, the puta and khuli.

There are around 18 households in Phodrong village that grows sweet buckwheat but the area under cultivation has come down in recent years because of the bear menace.

The crop is cultivated in February-March and are harvested in October and November.

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