| File picture of a Himalayan black bear
Aizawl, Dec. 18: A young Himalayan black bear in Aizawl zoo was found murdered by officials on Friday night with its gallbladder missing.
The zoo's veterinary doctor, Vanlalhruaia Pachuau, said the bear suffered grievous injury on its head, possibly from a blunt object.
The bear was last seen by its feeders on Wednesday. On Thursday, as there was no sign of the bear, the zoo authorities launched a search but managed to find the carcass only on Friday night inside its enclosure.
The doctor said the bear's entrails and other organs had been taken out though only the gallbladder was missing. 'We believe the bear was killed for its gallbladder,' Pachuau said.
The one-and-a-half-year-old bear had been brought to the zoo in May last year from the Lawngtlai forest division. A case has been registered with Sairang police and investigations are on to track down the poachers.
Assistant conservator of forests V.L. Para, who is in charge of the zoo, today said the poachers could be Myanmarese infiltrators. He said they were certain that the bear had been killed for its gallbladder as bear gall fluid is highly valued in Myanmar and China.
'A single bear gallbladder with the fluid can fetch up to Rs 12,000 in Mizoram. It can fetch much more in Myanmar and China. The bear was killed because of this,' Para said.
The zoo has separate enclosure for three young bears of which one has been killed. There are three other grown-up bears in the zoo.
The state's only botanical and zoological park on the western outskirts of Aizawl also houses 15 each of barking and sambar deer, five Hume's pheasant which is the state bird, six gibbons, 15 Assamese macaques and 12 stump-tailed macaques, two foxes and five leopard cats besides a number of other small animals.
The authorities said the zoo is sparsely staffed with only a few feeders and some grade IV employees who are hard put to guard the animals.