Poachers have killed at least six bears including two rare Himalayan black bears in Uttarakhand so far this June, apparently for their gall bladder, which roadside quacks promote as the best “desi” aphrodisiac.
The state forest department and police have seized the gall bladders and other body parts of the bears and arrested five persons in separate raids.
According to forest department officials, four bears were killed in Garhwal division and two in Kumaon region.
The poaching in Kumaon came to light following the arrest of two persons from Saraikhet village in Almora district on Tuesday. The state has fewer bears than the leopards, a favourite target of poachers along with tigers.
“Recovery of the bear body parts indicates that poachers are active in the state. I have asked my special patrolling teams to be on guard. More arms will be provided to our staff soon,” said Pramjeet Singh, chief conservator of forests, Kumaon, said on Wednesday.
Officials could not immediately say how many bears and other animals fell to poachers in the state this year and sought time to provide the details.