Police, forest staff 'bear' the brunt

The bear was first seen near the Ayyappa temple on Shankar Mutt Road in the wee hours. Locals reported the matter to the police and the forest department. When it was chased by streetdogs and locals, the bear entered the Silver Jubilee Park.

Then the animal hid itself in a drain behind the BSNL office. By this time, the forest department staff had arrived at the spot. Then the work of cleaning the drain using cranes started. At this stage, people gathered to watch the ‘operation’. Shooting crews of TV channels also arrived. Suddenly, the bear jumped onto the crane and the crowd started running helter skelter. In the melee, Prashant Sankappagowda, the photographer of a channel, fell down and was seriously injured.

The animal then hid itself in the drain on the other side of the road. A net was kept ready and efforts were made to chase the bear from the other side through various means like pumping water into the drain with the help of fire personnel and bursting crackers.

When the operation was given a temporary break, the crowd melted away. As noise subsided, the bear slowly walked out of the drain and the forest personnel captured the animal in a net. Srinivas, a veterinarian from Nagarahole, then came to the spot and tranquilised the animal, before being put in a cage. It was also treated for its injuries. Deputy Conservator of Forests Appu Rao said they were yet to decide whether to let it into the forest or shift it to a zoo.

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