Kullu: A young woman who was working in her fields was attacked by a bear on Friday (May 1) at Bagash village in Ani sub-divison of Kullu, leaving her gravely injured with a broken leg and her face badly mauled.
Rupbati (30) was rescued by villagers, who rushed to help her after she cried for help.
“First she was rushed to Ani community health center and later shifted to state hospital IGMC (Indira Gandhi Medical College) Shimla. She is severely injured, with a broken leg and a face heavily mauled,” her husband Devi Singh told Hill Post.
Villagers in the region are in fear of attack by wild animals, particularly by bears, in the Ani valley.
Expressing resentment against the forest and wildlife wardens for failing to contain the man-animal conflict in the valley, a village elder said, “It’s not the first time that such an attack has taken place but for the second time in a week that the bear has attacked. Samu Devi an 80 year elderly woman from Porala village under Dharalijan panchayat was attacked and severely mauled by a bear on 26 April. She was even shifted to PGI Chandigarh but succumbed to the injuries. We have been asking the forest and wildlife department to take appropriate action but besides empty assurances nothing has been done.”
Another villager said that for the past two years many people had been left severely injured by attacking bears. “These bears are not only killing people but are also destroying crops,” he said.
While contacted by Hill Post, VK Aggrawal, DFO (Divisional Forest Officer) Aani said, “Here we only have one cage available to try and capture the wild bear, which is insufficient. We have written to Principal Chief Conservator Forests (PCCF) for providing us with more cages, which could help to cage the animal and in reducing the increasing man-animal conflict in this valley.
Chiranji Lal, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ani has directed the forest department to provide compensation to the bear attack victim.
Photos by Renuka Gautam