?Pay, then take the bears away? | india | Hindustan Times
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?Pay, then take the bears away?

A TEAM of forest officials who had gone to rescue 15 bears from the Gandee basti area had to return empty-handed due to protests from residents led by local Corporator Anil Agrawal.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 15:00 IST

A TEAM of forest officials who had gone to rescue 15 bears from the Gandee basti area had to return empty-handed due to protests from residents led by local Corporator Anil Agrawal.

The protestors were demanding payment of compensation to bear owners. They alleged that two NGOs, `Wildlife SOS’ and `WTI’, working for wildlife protection had promised to pay Rs 50,000 to Rs 65,000 to each of the owners but had not paid the amount.

Meanwhile, Agrawal told Hindustan Times until the compensation was paid to the owners, he would not allow the bears to be taken away. “We are definitely in favour of the forest department taking away the bears to Van Vihar but only after the compensation is paid to owners,’’ he asserted.

Agrawal added he and local residents would not allow the bears to be taken away even if the forest team returned on Saturday morning and the NGOs did not pay the compensation.

Forest ranger Vinod Saxena said the bears could not be brought today, as it had got very late and the Van Vihar authorities had expressed inability to take in the animals so late in the evening. “We will go again on Saturday morning at about 10 am to bring the bears’’, he added.

All the 15 bears to be rescued are adults and six are males while nine are females.