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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Bears on prowl in Ganderbal, maul five

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, May 20, 2013
First Published: 12:28 IST(20/5/2013) | Last Updated: 18:13 IST(20/5/2013)

Five people, including a 5-year-old boy, were injured after attacked by wild bears in three different incidents in north-eastern district of Ganderbal, some 30 km from Srinagar.

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A police spokesman said that the victims included three young women - Maimoona (30), Poosha (25) and Haleema (18) - who were pounced upon by a bear at Watlar in Ganderbal when they were working in their paddy fields.

"The injured were taken to a public health centre for treatment," the official stated.  

In Chatergul forests of the district, Mohammad Maqbool Mir, 40, was badly injured after coming face to face with a bear. The police official said that the injured had to be shifted to Srinagar's SKIMS hospital after being referred by sub-district hospital of Kangan in Ganderbal.

Residents said that a 5-year-old boy also mauled by a bear at Tick Bagh, Ganderbal. He was shifted to SKIMS as well.

The valley has been witnessing an increase in number of man-animal conflicts.  Records show the trend has been rising since 1995.

Officials give different reasons for the increasing encounters.

They said that the main reason was conversion of paddy land near forests into orchards, which attract bears. Also, with the ban on shooting of animals and militancy, due to which people had to surrender their hunting guns, animal population has increased.   

The increase is also attributed to fencing of Kashmir's border with Pakistan designed to stop militant incursions. The nine feet high fence along Line of Control, a military line which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, is curbing the movement of wild animals, experts said.


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