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Bison strays out of forest, gores two

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 5.04.10
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Cooch Behar, April 4: A bison that had strayed out of Patlakhaoa forest ran amok at Putimari, goring two persons, one of them seriously, before being driven back into its habitat.

Local people said they had spotted two bison outside the forest around 4.30am today. One of them was a female, which after roaming around for a while, returned to the forest. The other, a male, crossed the dry bed of the Torsa and entered Putimari, about 30km from here.

Ghoksadanga police said Nirmal Barui, a 50-year-old farmer, had been working in his wheat field when the animal gored him.

The farmer was first brought to the MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar, where doctors referred him to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri as his condition was serious. Doctors attending to him said Barui had suffered deep wounds inflicted by the horns of the animal on his stomach, back and the neck.

Jyotsna Barman was the second person to be gored by the bison. She was given first aid at the district hospital and released.

Conservator of forests, north Bengal, Manindra Biswas, said: “Two additional divisional forest officers of the Cooch Behar division, Amitava Banerjee and Subodh Barui, led a team of forest staff to chase the animal back to the forest.”

Biswas said the forest department was bearing the medical expenses of the injured people under the rules laid down by the government. He added that the officer-in-charge of the Ghoksadanga police station, B. Sarkar, had also been present in the village till the animal was driven back into the forest around 11am.

Sources said the number of animals in the 17-sqkm Patlakhaoa forest was on the rise. They said animals from the Chilapata forest, about 7km away, were entering Patlakhaoa.

Last October in the same area, two bison had killed two persons and injured several people, including foresters and policemen, who were trying to drive the animals back into the forest.

Forest minister Ananta Roy said Patlakhaoa had seen an increase in the number of deer, bison and even leopards.

“The forest tract has become an ideal habitat for the animals as there is enough food for them with vast grassland for the herbivores,” said Roy.

He said the bison attack was unfortunate and steps were being taken to prevent further intrusions of the animals into human habitat.