Kashmiri War Good For Wildlife

| Tue Jul. 31, 2007 4:59 PM PDT

The violence that's killed thousands of people in South Asia's disputed Kashmir region has, ironically, fostered a 30 to 60 percent increase in the population of endangered Asiatic black bears. The bears are the victims of poachers, who hunt them for their fur, paws, and gall bladders, which have mythical medicinal qualities. The WorldWatch Institute reports the story by the Toronto Globe and Mail, that the presence of the Indian military and opposition fighters in Himalayan forests has discouraged poachers from entering the area, allowing the bears to recover slightly. . . Hmm. War. What is it good for? . . . Not to mention which, maybe it's kept a few from the dancing bear (aka slave) trade.

Check out some of the lucky few. JULIA WHITTY

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