Bear mauls 3 villagers

SRINAGAR -- A bear mauled three people including a woman in north Kashmir, police said Tuesday.

"A bear attacked and injured three persons in the Budgam area of Bandipore district last evening," a police spokesman said. "All the injured were shifted to sub district hospital Dawar for treatment."

The roaming of bear created panic among the residents.

The bear seems had accidentally ventured into the village from nearby forest area possibly in search of food.

The local authorities have launched searches in the area to catch the wild animal.

Wildlife officials say leopards and bears stray into residential areas usually in search of food. However, the human presence makes these animals insecure, following which they resort to attacking people.

At times these creatures are attacked by scared villagers in retaliation, which also proves fatal for them.

There are strict laws in force in the region against killing of wild animals.

Wildlife expert say mass urbanization, denudation of forests, encroachment of forestland, vanishing of buffer zones in the forests and extraction of medicinal plants are some of the reasons responsible for increasing conflict between humans and animals.

Last year several people were killed in the man-animal conflict in the region.

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