Himalayan Brown Bears sighted for first time in Kargil after 1999 War
Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Wildlife Department for the first time has sighted group of eight Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector after 1999 India-Pakistan War.
The eight Himalayan brown bears (three adult females and five grown-up cubs) were sighted in the mountain ranges of Ladakh’s Drass area at altitude 16,000 to 21,000 feet.
The sighting is considered as rare record as their natural habitats in Kargil’s Drass Sector were damaged during the 1999 war due to heavy artillery shelling for almost three months.
About Himalayan Brown Bears
- Scientific name: Ursus arctos isabellinus.
- They are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The. They is a subspecies of the brown bear.
- Description: These bears are the largest mammal in the Himalayan region, males reach up to 2.2 m long while females are a little smaller. They are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter.
- Distribution: In India, they are found in 23 protected areas of the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal.
- In J&K, they are found in Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil in the Ladakh region.
- IUNC Status: Critically endangered.
- Threats: Loss of suitable habitat, persecution by humans etc.