A rare variety of wild badger was spotted possibly for the first time in Tripura on Saturday, at Salema village in Dhalai district, 94 km from Agartala.
Three Hog Badger cubs, classified as ‘endangered’ on the International Council for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list, were rescued by forest department officials after local residents called for help.
A volunteer of Wild Tripura Foundation, an NGO which helped in the rescue, informed reporters that the three cubs were rescued from the house of one Bibekananda Debbarma in Salema village, who found them while collecting firewood in the forest. While the animals were first mistaken for pigs, the locals soon noticed a difference and called forest officials.
The animals were later shifted to Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary in Sepahijala district, 25 km from Agartala.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Tripura Chief Wildlife Warden DK Sharma Sunday said Hog Badgers have never been spotted in Tripura before.
“It is a wonderful species, part of the IUCN list. They have been recorded in Assam, a few other states of NE India, and in South East Asian countries like Thailand. It is the first time they were found in Tripura,” the official said.
Hog Badgers (Arctonyx Collaris) are listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, with a population steadily declining due to poaching.
On how the rare animals landed in Tripura, the state Wildlife Warden said, “We have very rich forests with a lot of flora and fauna which hasn’t been recorded yet.”
He said the animals are being fed at the wildlife sanctuary and getting treatment to overcome any shock. After they fully recover, they might be released in the wild, where they were found.
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