Himalayan bear escapes from BBP, gives staff the nightmares

Himalayan bear escapes from BBP, gives staff the nightmares

A Himalayan bear is said to have escaped from the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) and entered the Anekal forest, causing concern among the residents.

The animal in question is among the two Himalayan bears that had been brought to the BBP from the Agartala zoo in Tripura as part of an animal exchange programme six months ago.

On Thursday, the female bear was let out from its cage into the public exhibition enclosure on a trial basis. The bear is said to have escaped by jumping over the barbed wire fence. It is said that the animal was behaving aggressively ever since its arrival here and efforts had been made to tame it.

Four teams of officials and staff of the BBP and the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) have been formed to catch the bear that is initially said to have entered the BNP from the BBP. A total of 150 people were on the mission to capture the bear for the whole of Thursday. Elephants of the park have also been pressed into service in the operation to trace the bear.

A drone camera had also been deployed for the search efforts, but to no avail. Footprints of the bear have been found on one of the rocks in the park. Fruits, honey and jaggery syrup have been placed at vantage points to attract the animal. Besides these items, a cage has been kept near the waterholes in the park.

Forest officials expect the animal to be back in the bear rehabilitation centre by nightfall. Otherwise, the efforts to catch the bear will continue on Friday.

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