BENGALURU : Over the past couple of years, incidents of man-elephant conflict appear to have decreased a little bit, but now another issue is keeping forest officials on their toes -- increased sightings of sloth bears in urban areas surrounding Bannerghatta National Park.
Forest officials attributed this to a number of factors – the lockdown, reduction in human movement and presence of food, and, most importantly, a healthy population of sloth bears, resulting in the animals exploring new places. Reports of bear sightings have increased as many residential and commercial establishments have CCTV cameras that have captured solitary animals moving around late at night.
Recently, a sloth bear was sighted moving around Electronics City. “We are not sure if it is the same bear or a different one each time. Cages have been kept to capture the animal, but there has been no luck,” an official said.
The department has been deploying night patrol teams in urban areas and in forest fringes to check the wandering sloth bears. “We have seen a bear moving around in CCTV footage. We got to know of its presence only when the CCTV cameras were checked,” said Pawan M, a resident of Electronics City.
Mithila N, resident of Bilvargahalli village Bannerghatta, narrated a first-hand encounter. A bear was seen moving inside her estate and forest department teams tried to capture it on two nights, but were unsuccessful. “We saw the bear from our window. It scraped the kitchen door from the outside. We saw it eat mangoes, papaya, jackfruit and other fruits, after which it went away,” she said.