MALKANGIRI: BEAR scare has once again gripped the residents of Balimela town after the animal was sighted in the area on Thursday evening.
With bears straying into the arterial part of Balimela town and its suburbs becoming a regular affair, residents are scared to come out of their homes after sundown. The animal sightings have also put forest officials on the tenterhooks.
In the last few days, movement of bears has been reported in Chitrakonda Chowk area, around two km from Balimela town, as well as its suburb during evening hours, sparking panic among locals and commuters on the ever busy Malkangiri-Balimela road.
Forest personnel had trapped a bear from Balimela Chowk on Monday and released it into the forest near Valve House, some 15 km from the town.
However, the animal was again sighted near Chitrakonda Chowk on Thursday. Locals suspected it to be the same bear which was caught by forest officials on Monday.
Balimela Forest Range Officer Sushant Kumar Dalai said search for food is the cause of bears entering into human settlements. Squads have been pressed into service to capture the bear. Traps have also been laid across the region to capture the animal, he added.
Meanwhile, locals have demanded an immediate solution to the menace for their safety.