Bear Problems in Bhutan

This is a funny story from Kuensel Online, the Bhutanese newspaper. Its the drama between some disgruntled cattle herders, a couple of not very useful policeman and a Himalayan Black Bear.. very Bhutanese

Dhur bear now attacking yaks
Honey combs also go missing in Khersumphai near Jakar town
27 January, 2010 – The Himalayan black bear, which had been tormenting Dhur farmers by attacking their cattle has moved north to attack yaks, according to Dhur villagers.

The bear, which had killed six cattle and injured two in the village about a month ago, has killed two yaks, according to the Tshogpa (village representative) of Dhur, Pem Tshering.

“I received yet another complaint from the Yak herders and they said two yaks were killed,” he said.

Pem Tshering said that the villagers were losing confidence in the two policemen who were sent to help villagers hunt down the bear in December last year. He said that they could not kill the bear and were rather a burden on the villagers since they had to take care of them.

“They play dice during the day and ask people to light a camp fire, stay in group and herd the cattle together,” he said. “It’s like we are guarding the cattle rather than hunting the bear,” he said.

The Tshogpa said the two policemen were not skilled in hunting and missed two good chances of killing the bear. “I think the government should grant permission to the villagers to hunt down the bear or soldiers from the royal Bhutan army could be sent for a week to kill the predator,” he said.

It is not only the cattle in Bumthang that has to be guarded from bears. The Bee keeping house in Khersumphai, few kilometers away from Jakar town, also guards the area every night since a bear took away a honeycomb box earlier this year.

A friend of the owner of Khersumphai Bee keeping house, who helps the owner to guard the combs of another bee house, was attacked recently in Jakar but it was not reported to authorities.

By Samten Yeshi

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