Jajpur: A wild sloth bear strayed into a human settlement in Jajpur Road area today spreading chaos and panic among locals.
According to sources, the bear is suspected to have strayed into the area from nearby Mahagiri forests in the wee hours of today.
Locals who first spotted the bear tried to ward off the animal by pelting rocks and bursting crackers after which it fled the area and hid itself in the forest nearby Dala bypass.
After being informed about the incident, forest officials including the Range Officer, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), police and fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and swung into action to capture the wild animal.
Sources said, the bear attacked a drunken elderly man while running away from the mob but somehow the locals managed to rescue the man.
A senior forest department official said that a search operation is on and traps have been laid in the area to capture the bear.
The forest department has also requisitioned an expert team from Nandankanan Zoo to catch the animal, informed sources.
“We are trying to catch the wild animal or else send it deep into the forest. The DFO has assured that an expert team from Nandankanan Zoo will be roped in to tranquilise the animal if we are unable to catch it," Forest Range Officer, Debendra Pattnaik said.
Earlier in February, a wild bear had strayed into the Visa steel plant at Kalinga Nagar Industrial Complex in the district, spreading panic among employees and workers.