Negotiation for bear's possession under way
The Sindh Wildlife Department has traced down an Asian black bear illegally owned by a “gypsy” family in Sanghar’s Tando Adam.
Earlier this week, a TikTok video by a teenager showed the bear kept in dire conditions. Following this, the department launched a search operation to find the bear.
A tiktok star recently posted a video on tiktok showing this bear in someone’s illegal possession. We request all 2 help us find bear’s location. The informer will b highly appreciated. If the boy [the star] helps us find the location that great help will be acknowledged. pic.twitter.com/FH1pWUdJEw— SindhWildlife (@sindhwildlife) August 21, 2020
On Saturday, Wildlife Inspector Aijaz Noondhani found the bear in the unlawful possession of gypsies. It was being used for bear-baiting (a sport involving the tormenting of bears with other animals, commonly dogs). The sport is a source of income for multiple gypsy families who also use the animal for begging.
“The transfer of the bear’s custody has been delayed due to resistance from the female members of the family,” the department said, adding that negotiations are underway to provide them with an alternative livelihood.
Well-done Wildlife Inspector Mr. Aijaz Noondhani for finding the bear in illegal possession.— SindhWildlife (@sindhwildlife) August 22, 2020
As per law possessing a bear is illegal. Apparently kept in the name of poverty is actually used for ‘Bear-baiting’. Sindh Wildlife Law prohibits & terms such act an act of illegal 1/4 pic.twitter.com/rEDRmp3cQN
The Sindh Wildlife Department has offered a cargo motorcycle to the head of family in exchange, it added.
Bear baiting is a popular sport in Sindh. During the fight, the bear is tied from the nose and its nails already cut. It is made to fight at least three dogs, who attack its nose during the round.
Practices of bear-baiting, fighting and forced begging with animals is banned in the province under the Sindh Bear Baiting Control Rules, 2015. Perpetrators are punished with two years in prison and a fine of Rs100,000.
Once the possession of the bear is obtained, it will be transferred to a sanctuary where it will be treated and then released into the wild.