18 May 2016 Current Affairs: The J&K Wildlife Department in 2016 spotted a group of eight Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector. These brown bears were last seen in the zone, which is their natural habitat, before the 1999 Kargil War.
The eight beers comprised of three adult females and five grown-up cubs and were seen in Drass area of Ladakh with mountain ranges of 16000 to 21000 feet.
Himalayan Brown Bears : Generally found in Ladakh region, these Himalayan brown bears are found in the four major wildlife zones namely Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil. To survive they need about 100 square kilometer area as its territoryHuman intervention disturbs their ecology.They are listed among the vulnerable animals list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources'. In India, brown bears exist in 23 protected areas in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal, but they are regarded as fairly common in only two of these.It is a subspecies of the brown bear and is known from northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal and Tibet. Its scientific name is Ursus arctos.They are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The It is the largest mammal in the region, males reaching up to 2.2 m (7 ft) long while females are a little smaller.These bears are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter.
Why they escaped : Their natural habitat was damaged during the 1999 war.The heavy artillery shelling for almost three months, forced them to go into a hide or leave the zone, destroyed their habitat.The movement of troops during the war had an impact on the behavior and ecology of these beers.
The first ever sighting of a group of Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector was reported in a News Paper.