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A 15-year-old striped hyena was killed by poachers at the Jharbagda forest near Manbhum College campus under Manbazar PS area on Friday night.
At around 7.30pm on Friday, the Manbazar police and Manabazar forest range officials were informed that the local villagers have spotted the animal, a female, in the forest. Immediately, police and forest officials rushed top the spot and after a little search they found that the animal was lying dead in a pool of blood. Sources said it was poached barely half an hour ago.
Talking to the TOI, Suresh Chandra Barman, ranger of Manabar forest range, said that the post mortem has been conducted on Saturday by Dr Soubhik Barui and he is waiting for the report.
“The weight of the animal is 40 to 50 kilograms and its length is three feet and ten inches. Prima facie it seems that a blunt weapon has been used to kill it. It has suffered chest, leg, mouth and neck injuries. Two of its teeth have been broken. We will lodge a case in Manabazar police station,” he added.
Juno, the brown hyena who was rescued in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg, in September, is one step closer to her return to the wild after she was moved to a pre-release boma at a wildlife reserve in the North West Province this week, the NSPCA said on Thursday.
“The young hyena has responded well to treatment and has fully recovered from her injuries, which included damaged foot pads caused by running on paved roads outside of her natural environment.”
It is believed that Juno had become separated from her clan and accidentally wandered into a built-up area.
Attempts were made to locate her family since her capture, but due to all the attention, the clan had moved its den site and could not be located.
“It was therefore decided that it would be better for her to go into a safe environment on a reserve with other brown hyenas”, said the NSPCA.
Juno has been recuperating at the Johannesburg Zoo.
The Urban Hyena Research Project will help monitor Juno after her release into the wild. The project is also aimed at helping other wild hyenas that inadvertently wander into urban areas and need protection from the public or assistance to find their way home.
“The pre-release boma is an ideal setting for the hyena, and will help to prepare her for a permanent home back in the wild, when she is ready.”
The additional time to rest, grow, adjust and acclimatise to the new environment will help her to increase her chances of survival upon her release.
Despite the past few months spent in captivity, Juno retained her fear of humans and was treated for minor scratches picked up during the capture and relocation.
“The reserve is a typical habitat for a hyena; it is in a natural environment, familiar terrain, filled with smells and sounds from the wild.
“She will be able to see other wild animals through the fence but she will remain safe from threats until she is big enough for release,” says Isabel Wentzel of the Wildlife Protection Unit at the NSPCA.
“She will also be under constant monitoring remotely, so she will have minimal human contact, which is crucial to her success. Human contact and disturbance are extremely stressful for a wild animal.”
“We are happy that she will be released into the wild. She never settled in captivity and was very stressed around people.
“This will give her the opportunity to be back with her own kind in a safe environment. She settled right into her new temporary enclosure,” said Dr Katja Koeppel of the Johannesburg Zoo.
It is hoped that Juno will join another wild clan on her release, or start her own.
Paleontologists have discovered fossils of a previously unknown species of cursorial hyena that lived in what is now Tibetan Plateau during the middle Pliocene, 4.9-4.1 million years ago.
Cursorial hyenas (Chasmaporthetes), also known as hunting or running hyenas, are an extinct genus of hyenas endemic to North America, Africa, and Asia during Pliocene and Pleistocene periods.
The oldest representatives of Chasmaporthetes appeared in the late Miocene of Greece, Chad, and China. However, the genus was already widespread at the time of their earliest record around 7 million years ago.
By the early Pliocene, Chasmaporthetes crossed the Bering land bridge to America, where they evolved into Chasmaporthetes ossifragus, becoming North America’s only native hyena before being brought to extinction by the end of the Ice Age.
The new fossils of Chasmaporthetes, including partial lower jaws, maxillae, and toe bones, were collected from the Pliocene deposits of the Zanda Basin in southwestern Tibetan Plateau in 2009, and identified as a new species, Chasmaporthetes gangsriensis.