FIA probing Asian black bear issue

Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating the issue of confiscation of Asian black bear, which was recently released by Marghazar Zoo authorities on the directive of Islamabad High Court.
Sources in the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) said FIA was also probing the matter as to how the bear was confiscated.
“Apparently, on the complaint of the bear’s owner, the FIA is looking into the matter and today, they sought a reply from the zoo officials,” said an official of MCI, who requested not to be named.
He said the MCI would tell the FIA officials that the animal was captured by the wildlife board officials and handed it over to the zoo staff. It was later released on the directives of the IHC.
When contacted, Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said he was told by the director zoo and wildlife board that the FIA was asking questions about the bear.
“We will inform it [FIA] that the bear has been released on court orders,” he said.
Hearing the case related to the Asian black bear, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah directed handing over of the animal to Balkasar Bear Sanctuary until a decision in the case.
The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board had filed a petition seeking custody of the bear after the MCI turned down its request.
The counsel for the petitioner maintained that the bear was required to be set free in the bear rescue centre as keeping it in the zoo was in violation of Islamabad Wildlife (Protection Preservation and Management) Ordinance 1979 and tantamount to an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1890.

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