BENGALURU: An alert has been issued for an 80 km area around Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) spanning Attibele, and up to Hosur in Tamil Nadu, asking people to beware of a wild sloth bear which has allegedly attacked six people.
Worryingly, forest officials suspect the bear is rabid, and have installed camera traps to track and capture it. Over 100 BNP staffers, Wildlife SOS, forest department, local police, three veterinarians, and darters are on the look out for the elusive animal which has been on the prowl since Sunday night.
"We have called out an alert and locals are requested not to venture out at night. Sloth bears are nocturnal. Since no tracks have been found from afternoon to evening, we suspect there could be some movement at night. Also, the animal has attacked six people between Monday night and Tuesday morning... This is the first time such an incident has occurred," a senior forest official seeking anonymity told The New Indian Express.
Officials suspect that the bear they are looking for is the one captured from Tumakuru and brought to BBBP rescue centre and escaped on Sunday after attacking Jayashankar, the driver of the BBBP's Assistant Director for Veterinary Services.
"Tracks of the animal which escaped from the rescue centre have been seen. But whether it is the same animal needs to assessed. The location of the first attack - on an old man - in Anekal territorial range was 28km from where the tracks were found"
"Other incidents were reported from Kadubeesanahalli. The tracks were last seen on Tuesday evening near the eucalyptus plantations in Attibele. Since it has attacked six people in a span of 6-7 hours, we suspect it to be rabid. If so, it would die in 3-4 days. If not, it must be captured. We don’t know the sex and age of the animal. The one captured from Tumkuru was a male aged 9 years," he added.