Forest officials seek cops' help to track sloth bear in Bengaluru outskirts

Last month, a bear that was rescued from Tumakuru escaped by breaking open the floor of the cage
Last Updated : 23 April 2021, 20:07 IST

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A sloth bear, which has been regularly straying into Electronic City and the Chandapura area of Bengaluru, is giving the forest department sleepless nights. From Picasso City Layout to Kaveri Hospital, the bear has been spotted in several places in Electronic City.

Forest officials have been weary ever since the animal attacked five people in March. Even though there have been no fresh attacks, they do not want to take another chance, and hence have requested the Bengaluru police to track down the bear after failing to trace it for the past three weeks.

"We are seeing the bear in CCTV footage in Electronic City. However, as the animal is nocturnal, tracing it has become a herculean task. Even when direct sightings are reported, it moves into forest by the time staffers arrive at the spot with a tranquiliser gun," a senior official said.

On Friday, the department wrote to police seeking the help of a K9 squad to trace the animal. "We hope that the dog squad will pick up the scent of the animal and help us in tracing it soon," an official said.

Last month, a bear that was rescued from Tumakuru escaped by breaking open the floor of the cage while being shifted to the rescue centre at Bannerghatta.

Officials are unsure whether the bear roaming in Electronic City, Chandapura and Anekal areas is the same animal.

When contacted, Bengaluru Urban DCF Ravishankar said the bear has not harmed anyone in recent days. "The dwindling resources in summer force animals out of the forest. It is possible that it may be one of the several bears in Bannerghatta," he said.

Officials noted that waste, especially fruits and fish entrails, attracts sloth bears.

In February, officials captured a leopard that repeatedly strayed into an apartment in Begur. "Not managing waste properly, especially in areas bordering forests and wildlife zones, will naturally attract animals," the senior official said.

Published 23 April 2021, 19:34 IST

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