Sharmili Mallick

Keonjhar: A bear was critically injured after it was hit by an unidentified vehicle on National Highway No-10 near Katarabeda Chhak, under Ghatagaon forest range in Keonjhar district in the early hours on Thursday.

A forest department team from Ghatagaon rescued the injured bear and took it to the office of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) where it is undergoing treatment. The full grown bear is stated to be critical.

Forest officials said that the accident could have occurred in the wee hours on Thursday when the unidentified speeding vehicle hit the animal when it was trying to cross the highway near Katarabeda. Locals spotted the injured bear lying on the roadside in the morning and informed the forest officials.

"We received the information in the morning and rushed to the spot. The injured bear was immediately rescued and brought to the DFO office. The wild animal is critical and under observation of a Veterinary Surgeon. The bear is unable to walk now," informed the Forester of Ghatagaon range office.

In another incident on Tuesday, a wild bear was reportedly rescued from a ditch in ten hours of rescue operation launched by the Forest department at Deuli village under Sadar block of Nabarangpur district.

The animal had strayed into the village on Monday night in search of food. However, it accidentally fell into a 20-feet deep ditch, said reports.

Unable to get out, the bear continued growling following which the villagers alerted forest officials who rushed to the spot and launched the rescue operation.

The officials managed to rescue the bear with help of a special rope and managed to get it inside a cage after ten hours. The wild bear was later released into the wild following medical examinations.