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Bear attacks BRO worker

Gangtok, Dec. 7: A bear attacked a Border Roads Organisation worker today near Gangtok and left him with a broken nose.

The attack by a bear is the second in the state in as many weeks. Last week, a bear killed a Lepcha resident in a forest in North Sikkim while collecting wild fruits.

In today’s attack, Bessnath Sharma Chettri, a casual supervisor with the BRO, was on duty near the cantonment forest area when a black bear attacked him around 9.30am.

“After giving instructions to the labourers, I started walking towards the forest. The bear attacked me from the front. I fought somehow and after a few minutes the animal fled,” said Chhetri, who has sustained injuries on his head, face, chest and leg.

The cantonment where Chhetri was working is in Burtuk, 5km from Gangtok in the East district.

The labourers working nearby heard a loud cry and found Chhetri bleeding. They rushed him to Sir Thutop Namgyal Memorial hospital.

Chhetri said the black Himalayan bear was almost nine-foot tall.

The medical superintendent of STNM Uma Pradhan said although Chettri has sustained major injuries, his condition is stable.

“His nasal bone has been fractured and he has some head injuries too. The patient has been shifted to the surgical ward,” said Pradhan.

Forest officials suspect that the bear has moved out from the area and they have alerted local people.

There are approximately 50 black Himalayan bears in Sikkim.