NUAPADA: An unexpected visitor showed up at the district Collector’s residence in Nuapada town on Wednesday morning - a black bear! The staff of Collector Swadha Dev Singh’s residence were taken by surprise on spotting the bear in the wee hours. Local forest officials were informed about it and a team reached the spot.
Till reports last came in, the bear was inside the Collector’s residence premises and forest guards were keeping an eye on it. The Collector’s residence comes under the jurisdiction of Territorial Division of the Forest department.
“We are monitoring the bear’s movement. It is not possible to drive away the animal until night. There is a possibility that the bear might get irritated and attack people. Guards have been deployed to restrict gathering of people and prohibit them from clicking pictures,” Range Officer (Wildlife), Nuapada Dilip Champatiray said.
Forest officials said, the bear may have come in search of food and was feasting on fruits in the backyard of the Collector’s residence. The animal will be guided back to the forest once the road is deserted in the night. Reportedly, the same bear had strayed into the soil conservation office on July 9. The animal came from the nearby Saliha reserve forest in search of food and was later guided back late in the night. The Collector’s residence is hardly 50 metre away from the soil conservation office.
The bear is acquainted with human activities since the forest is close to Nuapada town. Due to less fodder and fruit plants in the forest, wild animals have been entering the town lately. “The bear is not reacting violently but we will have to wait till night as it cannot be driven out forcefully,” Ranger (Territorial) Binita Bhoi said.
She further informed that the bear would have been shifted elsewhere if it had attacked any person the last time. “Since the animal is straying into human habitations for food, we can only send it back to the forest. A plantation drive is underway in the forest to make up for the loss of fodder plants for bear due to deforestation,” Bhoi added.