Nabarangpur: Panic gripped the residents at Malisahi area under Tentulikhunti block in the district here after a bear strayed into a temple in the village on Sunday night.
According to sources, the animal sneaked into the human settlement at around 10 pm yesterday and roamed around till late night. The bear later entered a Tarini temple in the village by jumping over the boundary wall.
The villagers believe the bear might have come from a nearby forest in search of food. Though the wild animal did not attack anyone, locals are in a state of fear apprehending possible attack by the bear.
Meanwhile, the villagers have urged the forest department officials to initiate necessary steps before the animal causes any damage to lives and properties.
The wild animals enter the village area due to shrinking forest cover caused by massive deforestation during the winter season to feast on crops, sources said.
Recently on December 31, six sloth bears were seen roaming at Ladijodi village under Borigumma block in Koraput for several days triggering panic among the villagers.
Earlier on December 23, a bear had sneaked into human habitation at Amapani near Dharmagarh in Kalahandi district. The animal had roamed around for an hour. A video of the animal roaming around the Budharaja temple at Amapani had gone viral on social media.
(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)