My every fantasy just came true. First off, I just want to let you all know that I have an immeasurable love for sloth bears. I go to my local zoo just to see the sloth bear walk in circles and look all badass. I even have a bear hat in tribute to him.
But lookee what I saw in the paper today.
the original article here
This is not a happy story.
It all began last year, when Ram Singh Munda found an orphaned bear cub in the woods and brought it home to console his 6-year-old daughter after the death of his wife.
"The bear and I used to eat together and have fun. The bear was taking care of me," Goki, the daughter, tells The Times of India. "My father use to take both of us on his cycle. The bear never harmed anyone."
When the story of the sloth bear appeared in a newspaper, IBN says government officials ordered Munda to return the sloth bear to the wild. He complied, but the bear, named Rani, returned home the next day.
Q1x00052_9 "The Forest Department then forcibly took Rani away and handed her over to the Nandankanan Zoo near Bhubaneswar. Ram was arrested and sent to Keonjhar jail for violating the Wildlife Protection Act, which forbids people from keeping wild animals," IBN reports.
This is not a simple story.
Some activists described Munda's motivations as anything but pure.
"This is the fifth case we have come across in the last one year where these tribals kill the mother, take the baby and sell it to the madaris of Mevat or it goes to Nepal. I am saying that he should get the absolute harshest sentence possible," former environment minister Maneka Gandhi tells CNN-IBN.
Munda faces criminal charges. He was released on bail last night, according to The Hindu.
As for the bear, she's being kept at a zoo, where the Associated Press says she has been refusing to eat without her master.
I hope the man gets his bear back. This whole story is very inspiring for a set of illustrations I might cook up.