Agartala: A rare variety of wild hog badger was spotted for the first time at Salema village in Dhalai district, around 94 km away from state capital Agartala, in Tripura on Saturday.
A total of three hog badgers, listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN), was rescued by the forest department on receiving calls from the local villagers.
The animals were rescued by the Wild Tripura Foundation NGO and officials of the forest department with the help of local villagers.
Speaking with reporters, Kamalpur subdivision level forest official said that three hog badger cubs were rescued from the house of Bibek Debbarma in Salema village after the locals informed them of their presence.
“The locals first thought the animal to be a pig but on realising the mistake they informed the forest department after which we recovered them,” the forest official said.
Chief wildlife warden DK Sharma said that the badgers were never spotted in the forest of the state.
“The badger is very rare and it has been listed in the IUCN list. They were recorded in Assam and other Northeastern states and in parts of South East Asian countries like Thailand. This is for the first time they have been traced in Tripura,” Sharma said.
He also said that hog badgers or Arctony Collaris are listed as vulnerable in the IUCN red list due to the declining numbers of the animal in the forest.
The animals were later shifted to Sepahaijla wildlife sanctuary, around 25 km from Agartala in Sepahijala district. “The Tripura forest is very rich with nature and flora and fauna which hasn’t been recorded yet and there are chances to record many such rare species in the jungles of the state,” Sharma added.
He also informed that the cubs are being fed and treated at the wildlife sanctuary and would soon be released in the wild once again from where they were rescued.