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Asian Black Bear Goes Missing From Peshawar Zoo

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Zoo administration is searching for a missing Asian black bear which disappeared from zoo premises.

Sources told Naya Daur that Peshawar Zoo has lost almost 34 precious animals from the day it was established but no proper action has ever been taken during this time to safeguard animals.

The zoo is one of the largest in Pakistan and the first ever zoo to have been established in the provincial capital. It was opened on February 12 last year and is managed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Forests, Environment and Wildlife Department.

Peshawar Zoo Deputy Director Niamat Ullah, while talking to media persons, said that an Asian black bear had gone missing, while adding that the age of the bear is less than six months.

He said that ever since the bear went missing, no person from outside the zoo has so far informed the administration about its sighting at any place in the city. “This means the bear is hiding somewhere inside the zoo,” the zoo director added.

Further, he said that the zoo administration has been looking for the lost bear from the past two days. People should not fear any attacks because the bear is just four months old, he added.

The Asian black bear, also known as the Asiatic black bear, moon bear and the white-chested bear, is a medium-sized bear species which is native to Asia and is an arboreal animal.

It is found in the Himalayas and its territory stretches from the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent to Korea, northeastern China, the Russian Far East, the Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan, all the way to Taiwan.

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The Asian black bear is classified as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mostly because of rapid deforestation and poaching.

According to zoo officials, the bear got lost due to the negligence of the zoo staff and an investigation would be carried out in this connection to identity and punish the culprit/s.

“We have started an internal inquiry over the matter to identify all those responsible for the incident,” the deputy director concluded.

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