The Forest Magistrate Astore in Sept 2018 sentenced two persons to one year in jail and fined them Rs 300,000 each for killing a rare brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Minimarg area of Astore district recently.

The bear was poisoned to death.

According to a press release issued by the GB parks and wildlife department, the officials were informed that some unknown offenders had killed brown bear in Kilishai area recently.

A team was constituted under the supervision of GB conservator wildlife Yaqub Ali Khan. The conservator with his team visited the crime site the other day and arrested two suspects for interrogation with the help of local police.

The suspects were identified as Chaudhry Fazil and Chaudhry Chandni, residents of Attock district of Punjab.

The team also recovered the body of the brown bear.

The police’s investigation team completed the case and brought the offenders to the court of forest magistrate 1st class, Astore, who awarded them with one year imprisonment and fined them Rs300,000 each.

If they did not pay the fine within a week they would be slapped with another year in jail and their livestock will be auctioned and the money so collected would be deposited into the government treasury. Sources said the animal had been killed by nomads who usually came in the area for grazing purposes.

The animal was killed recently, and later local people informed the wildlife department officials about the hunt.

Yaqub Ali Khan said GB was home to unique wildlife species. He said brown bear species was under threat in GB.

He said both the black and brown bears were being hunted illegally for various purposes. Their parts are used for different medicines and their skin is used for making leather products.

He said after hunting body parts of the brown bear were smuggled across the country and abroad.

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