In 2008 Indian wildlife NGO ‘WildlifeSOS’ started the training of rangers under the project: ‘Asiatic black bear Conservation Education and Training Programme in Kashmir, India’. They were trained to deal with the capture of bears and other wild animals. Practice with a tranquilizer gun was very important. In addition, they were also trained in dealing with angry mobs that wanted to kill bears or leopards that came too close, also in retalliation as resulting in conflicts. Wild animals should be calmly approached and treated. This minimizes stress levels and is safer for the ranger / handler. There are a number of trained people now in almost every region of the project. They respond immediately, as soon as a bear incident is reported.
Local people learn about the behaviour of wild animals and how they can avoid conflicts. Once there has been an incident with a bear or other wild animal somewhere, village meetings are held. The people of WildlifeSOS explain how the bears can be kept as far from the villages as possible. They also teach the communities how to avoid bears in the future and urge them to report every bear incident as quickly as possible. Even schoolchildren are included in the education programme. They learn about bears, how beautiful they are, but also how important they are to the ecosystem. Through workshops and training the locals will have a more positive attitude towards bears. Moreover, their fear for bears will decrease. Almost every bear incident is reported, unlike before. In the past the only message that came from the village with a bear incident was that the bear had been burned alive or stoned to death. Not only bears benefit from this project; virtually no other wild animal in this area has been killed by the locals ever since it started.