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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sloth bear beaten to death in Telangana, 25 villagers identified as accused

The bear had entered a bathroom in one of the houses and the house owner had locked up the animal inside. However, the animal broke open the door made of a thin iron sheet resulting in panic among people who had gathered around.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | Published: May 22, 2020 9:50:01 pm
Sloth bear beaten to death in Telangana Kamareddy district forest officer J Vasantha said the villagers were beyond control and any efforts to rescue the bear safely went in vain.

A sloth bear was beaten to death by an angry mob of villagers in Telangana’s Kamareddy district Friday. According to Kamareddy Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) J Vasantha, 25 persons from Kannapoor village have been booked in the matter on a complaint by the local forest beat officer.  “Of the 25 people booked, only four have been identified so far. Others are absconding,” said the DFO. The forest department will also conduct an inquiry.

However, Station House Officer K Raju of Ramareddy police station, when contacted around 7.30 pm, said no case has so far been registered in the matter.

A call was received by the forest department around 10:30 am today informing about the sighting of a bear in the village. A team of forest officials rushed to the village and a rescue team of veterinary doctors from Nehru zoo park in Hyderabad was also expected to reach in a couple of hours. The bear had entered the bathroom in one of the houses and the house owner had locked up the animal inside. However, the animal broke open the door made of thin iron sheet resulting in panic among people who had gathered around.

Forest department officials said the incident took place despite their attempts to control the mob and rescue the bear. “When the animal rushed out of the bathroom, people did not know what to do. Some of them chased and attacked it with sticks. Stones were pelted resulting in its death,” the Divisional Forest Officer told vsmcomm.com.

Two persons are admitted into the Kamareddy district hospital after they were injured during the incident. The department has decided to take care of their medical needs. A postmortem examination of the wild animal was conducted and the carcass was disposed off in the forest.

The Kannapoor forest area is barely 2 km away from the village but a bear had entered the habitation for the first time. According to the DFO, the bear could be around three years old. “Of the 25 people booked, only 4 are identified so far. Others are absconding,” added the DFO. The forest department will also conduct its inquiry in addition to the police inquiry into the incident.

When contacted, village sarpanch Rajanarasu said they promptly informed the forest department after the bear entered a house on the village outskirts. “The team came with no cage or net to capture it and it stayed inside for nearly two hours. It must have become frustrated and then came out breaking the door. Around 150 people had gathered around in the village. It ran around for a while looking to escape injuring two people. People then pelted stones and killed it,” he said.

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