The Himalayan black bear had strayed into Gangtok city during the COVID-19 lockdown. He was rehabilitated beyond Flag Hill inside the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, East Sikkim
Gangtok: The Himalayan black bear, which was found and later tranquilised at the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) building here on April 1, has successfully been translocated by the state forest department inside the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, East Sikkim on Saturday.
On April 1, the Himalayan black bear was spotted at the BSNL office building, barely 100 m from the heart of Gangtok, MG Marg. It injured BSNL engineer Arvind Yadav at the office. Later, forest minister Karma Loday Bhutia reached the spot along with divisional forest officer (wildlife) Dechen Lachungpa and Sikkim Police officials led by DIG Range Sonam Tenzing Bhutia.
Giving an account of the incident on April 1, an eye-witness said,“Around 4.10 am, some people heard noises fearing it could be a burglar who may have entered the premises. They saw the bear and shut the building door. The animal, shocked at seeing humans jumped and fell some 6-7 ft below the telecom building and got stuck. It was trapped, between two buildings. We called the guard of the building but the engineer came out and tried to shut the back door of BSNL building. He was attacked by the animal which was startled by all the commotion around it.”
It took the forest department officials and Sikkim Police the whole day to capture the animal. It could not be tranquilised as there was limited space between the two buildings where the bear was stuck.
Those involved in the rescue had a difficult time because the bear had cornered itself in the circuit room of BSNL. The layout was challenging because there were many smaller rooms with lots of wires and electric circuits and it was difficult to see the animal. Firecrackers could not be used because they was a real possibility that it could start a fire. Finally two air conditioning units were removed to give the shooters line of sight to tranquilise the animal. The animal was finally sedated at 5:30 pm; the operation took one whole day.