Six injured after wild bear mauls them

Berhampur: At least six persons, including two forest personnel were injured when a wild bear mauled them at Belagaom today.

The injured persons were admitted to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital here and condition of three of them was stated to be critical.

The animal entered the village last night and became violent, when villagers teased it. It attacked the villagers one after other, injuring at least four of them.

Forest guards were injured when they tried to save the villagers from the animal, officials said.

Since the villagers panicked at the sight of the animal, around 30 forest personnel were deployed in the vicinity, said divisional forest officer (DFO) Berhampur A K Behera.

Forest staff from Khallikote and Patrapur forest range offices were also rushed to the village, he said.

Wildlife experts blamed the straying of the bear on loss of its natural habitat, particularly due to stone quarrying.

“The natural habitat of the bear has been destroyed due to uncontrolled quarrying near the forests in the district. As a result, wild animals move towards the village,” said Biswajit Mohanty, a wildlife activist.