Bear attack kills three

Three persons, including a woman, were killed when a wild bear attacked them in Nabarangpur district, about 500km from here, today. Two persons were also injured in the incident.

By Ashutosh Mishra and Subhashish Mohanty in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 15.06.16
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Bhubaneswar, June 14: Three persons, including a woman, were killed when a wild bear attacked them in Nabarangpur district, about 500km from here, today. Two persons were also injured in the incident.

Sources said that a group of people from Phatki village under Chandhandi block of the district were collecting wild spinach in the nearby forest when a bear lurking behind a bush pounced upon them.

While most of them managed to escape, five persons sustained severe injuries.

Three of them - Lambodar Majhi, 60, Nakul Majhi, 55, and his wife Turturi Majhi, 48, - later died. The bodies of Nakul and Turturi are yet to be retrieved, as people are scared of entering the forest.

As panic gripped the area, forest department officials deputed three special teams to keep a watch on the situation. Sources said the team carrying drums and crackers to keep bears at bay had gone into the forest looking for the bodies of the Majhi couple.

"We are still waiting for the team members to return," said Purna Chandra Patra, a local resident.

Bear attacks have become quite frequent in the state. Most of the cases are, however, reported from the tribal areas. Last April, a wild bear had injured four persons at Chorada Square in Jajpur district. A month later, a bear mauled a 60-year-old man at Nilgiri in Balasore district.

In May 2014, four persons had sustained injuries in bear attacks near Saintala and Deogaon forest ranges in Balangir district.

In 2013, recurrent bear attacks had terrorised people living in the Nilgiri block of Balasore district. Even forest officials fell victim to bear attacks.

On May 9 that year, a wild bear had mauled and killed a villager in Nilgiri block, while seven others, including a forester, were injured. The incident had come close on the heels of the death of eight persons in a bear attack at Kotpad in Koraput district.

Forest officials said the smell of mahua, kendu and other wild fruits growing aplenty in the forests close to villages drew the animal towards human habitations.