Andean Bear rescued in the Serranía del Perijá (Cesar)







An Andean bear (Tremarctos Ornatus), which was in danger of being attacked by peasants, was rescued and released in the Serranía Regional Natural Park del Perijá (Cesar).

The animal spent several hours climbing a tree to protect itself from attacks by the locals
of the sector, who live in fear of the presence of the mammal, whom they consider a threat to the domestic animals that they keep on their farms.


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“For years there has been a conflict between these people and the animal, since this on certain occasions, has attacked some bovines. This keeps the peasants unhappy because they consider it a threat,” explained veterinarian Marino Zuleta.

The animal weighs 200 kilos and was
climbed for several hours on a tree

Preserving their lives is everyone’s obligation, which is why harmonious coexistence with these species is required

The rescue of this wild species, which weighs approximately 200 kilos, was carried out by officials of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cesar, through the practice of ‘scare away’, which made it possible to distance the predator from its domestic prey.

“This made it possible to minimize the attack. The activity was carried out in a cautious and responsible manner to keep the bear away from these places identified by these people”, detailed the veterinarian.

The Andean bear is one of the protected species that remains in the Serranía del Perijá Regional Natural Park.

The area has 25 thousand hectares, it is surrounded by the municipalities of Becerril, Manaure, La Paz, San Diego, La Jagua de Ibirico and Agustín Codazzi.

However, among the inhabitants of these territories there is a lack of awareness about the preservation of the fauna and flora that inhabit these sectors. Coexistence with this environment is irresponsible.

The role played by the Andean bear in the
ecosystem is relevant

…ranchers open the gates of their farms and let the cattle loose, which end up occupying the park area. When these animals get there, they are easy prey

“We have spoken with many farmers to make them understand the importance of these species for everyone. In addition, the consequences of killing these animals is a crime defined in the Colombian penal code”, stressed Zuleta.
Lack of State presence

The role played by the Andean bear in the ecosystem is relevant,
hence, that it is considered the ‘architect of the forests’, since when it moves it disperses the seed of the fruits with which it feeds, this allows the regeneration of the protective vegetation of these areas.<br
“They produce an ‘umbrella effect’ that facilitates the protection of everything around this park. Preserving their lives is everyone’s obligation, which is why a harmonious coexistence with these species is required,” the official stressed.
Affectations

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The situation of vulnerability of these mammals is maximized because next to their natural habitat, there are 12 agricultural farms whose owners carry out different economic activities that end up affecting this species.

“During the summer, food is scarce, the ranchers open the gates of their farms and release the cattle, which end up occupying the park area. When these animals get there, they are easy prey for the bear and that is where the conflict is evident,” he stressed.Greater control in the area

A few years ago the government bought two properties to protect the mountains and today they are being used by those who sold them.

Within the framework of the park conservation plana greater presence of the State has been proposed, with the increase in environmental guardians to intensify controls in these areas.

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Another of the plans that has been contemplated is the purchase of the farms that are in the vicinity of the park by the State, so that the entire territory is declared a nature reserve.

“The owners are assuming that these territories are theirs. A few years ago the government bought two properties to protect the mountains and today they are being used by those who sold them. That cannot be possible! State control is lacking. People must cooperate so that these properties do not continue to be exploited,” the official assured.

He also stressed that the area could become a greater tourist potential for farmers in the sector, given the variety of faunal species and floristics that adorn the place.

“These are virgin areas where an important ecotourism can be developed that would generate income for the peasants. This would be a different source to livestock and in this way we save these species”, the official recommended.