This pet bear refuses to return to forest
Wed, Jun 18 01:00 AM
Forest officials in Orissa are trailing Ramesh Munda for keeping a wild animal at home and to evade any legal action against him, Munda is desperate to release his pet sloth bear in the forest. But each time Munda has tried to release sloth bear Rani, she returns to him.
The forest department has made up its mind to rescue Rani and later shift her to the Nandankanan zoological park. But Munda believes that Rani can lead a better life in the forests and he is thus keen to release him in the woods.
But Rani has so far foiled Munda's plans. Bimal Acharya, assistant conservator of forests of Keonjhar division told Hindustan Times: "The person in possession of the bear is not staying anymore at his home.
He is moving with the bear. Three officials of our department are tracking Munda.
So far the bear may not have harmed anyone. But it's a wild animal and it certainly poses danger to people residing in the locality.
" Munda is a resident of Rutisila village under Ghatagaon block of Keonjhar district, nearly 150-km away from the state capital Bhubaneswar. Wildlife activists have now started taking a lenient view.
They have also urged the forest officials not to initiate any legal action against Munda as he may not be aware of wildlife rules. Jeevan Das, secretary of Orissa chapter of People for Animals told Hindustan Times: "The bear has to be rescued.
Otherwise, someone may start keeping a pet tiger or a peacock. The law of the land has to be respected.
However, we don't want the man to be arrested as he is not aware of the laws governing wildlife." The forest department, however, remains non-commital on whether legal action would be completely dropped against Munda.
"Let's rescue the sloth bear first and then we will examine other aspects," a senior forest official said. According to Munda, when Rani was barely two-month-old, he discovered her in the forest where he had gone to get firewood.
"I did not bring her to my home, but she followed me on her own," Munda had said. And since then the bond has developed so much that Rani is now an integral part of Munda's family.