Attacks on humans, cattle by hungry bears rise in Uttarakhand
The the divisional forest officer of Uttarkashi, said his division was known for accidental human-bear conflict once the animal comes to the lower reaches after vertical migration and cases of attack rise in the months of December, January and February.
A 60-year-old man was attacked by a bear in a village in Chinyalisaur region of Uttarkashi on Sunday evening when he went inside the forest to collect woods.
The injured man, who was referred to the district hospital for treatment the same day, is now recovering.
Sandeep Kumar, the divisional forest officer (DFO) of Uttarkashi, said his division was known for accidental human-bear conflict once the animal comes in the lower reaches after vertical migration and cases of attack rise in the months of December, January and February.
He said since April 2018, three people were critically injured due to bear attacks in the Uttarkashi forest division.
Kumar said, “We have given a compensation of ₹15,000 to the man as of now. If doctors inform that his injuries are more serious then we will increase the compensation amount to ₹50,000.”
In November 2018, cases of attacks by bears on cattle was reported from Lansdowne and Kedarnath divisions.
DFO Lansdowne had then claimed that cattle were being deliberately attacked by bears due to domestic animals being easy prey for bears.
Kumar agreed to this phenomenon. He said: “Frequency of attacks on domestic animal increases in winter months because of lack of options for prey and domestic animals are easily available.”
Amit Kanwar, divisional forest officer of Kedarnath, also witnessed two cases of attack on cattle. First case was reported from Baula village on October 2 and second was reported from Jaisal village on November 9.
“In summer months, villagers take their cattle to the Bugyals for grazing and there snow leopards and bears directly attack the cattle and find food. But in winters, the bears are used to this food habit and when they are not able to find food they attack cowsheds,” said Kanwar.
He said the bears know where the domestic animals stay as at times during summers they follow the cattle back.