ITANAGAR: In a significant conservation milestone, the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation & Conservation (CBRC), situated at the Pakke Tiger Reserve in the Pakke-Kessang district, has successfully rehabilitated a total of 60 bear cubs since its establishment in 2001. This information was shared by Dr. Panjit Basumatary, the in-charge of CBRC, during a recent meeting of the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Bears Committee (CRBC) at the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) office.
CBRC, a joint initiative of the state’s environment, forest & climate change department and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), holds the distinction of being the country’s sole Asiatic bear rehabilitation facility. Dr. Basumatary reported that from 2022 to 2023, five bear cubs were rehabilitated at CRBC, with an impressive success rate of four cubs successfully reintegrated into the wild. Unfortunately, one cub succumbed to challenges during the rehabilitation process.
Beyond its primary focus on bear rehabilitation, CBRC actively engages in rescuing various wildlife species from different corners of Arunachal Pradesh. In 2023 alone, the center handled 23 rescue cases, showcasing its commitment to broader wildlife conservation efforts.
The CRBC meeting, chaired by PCCF & HoFF Ngilyang Tam, saw the participation of senior officers from the department, representatives from WTI, the director of the Pakke Tiger Reserve, the director of the Biological Park in Itanagar, and other forest department officials. Discussions centered on various conservation issues, with a particular emphasis on wildlife crime prevention. The meeting recommended intensive training for frontline forest staffers to enhance their capabilities in combating wildlife crime.
As part of ongoing initiatives, the WTI, in collaboration with the Pakke Tiger Reserve, is conducting a bear occupancy survey in Pakke to assess the population of bears within the reserve. Additionally, the meeting highlighted the need to sensitize the authorities at Hollongi airport to the threats of wildlife trade and trafficking.
The CBRC's accomplishments underscore the importance of collaborative efforts in wildlife conservation, with the successful rehabilitation of bear cubs serving as a ray of hope for the region's biodiversity.