Wayanad (Kerala) | An adult sloth bear has been on the loose in this high-range district of Kerala for the last three days, creating panic among the public as it entered a home to steal sugar and continued to elude efforts of the forest officials to capture it.
According to forest officials, the bear was last seen at around 3.30 am on Wednesday near Panamaram here which is close to a forested area.
Officials said there was a chance that the bear may venture back into the forest, but a large team, including a Rapid Response Team, veterinarians and DFOs, are combing the area for the animal.
A senior forest official said that an order was issued on Tuesday by the Chief Wildlife Warden to tranquilise the bear.
"However, we will not just dart it on sight. We will do so only if it is crucial. We will not dart it unnecessarily," the official said.
The bear entered the habited areas of the district on January 21 and was caught on various CCTV cameras.
Visuals on TV channels later showed it running through a large field as locals made noises to scare it away.
Amidst this, a local resident unknowingly landed up before the bear and in his panic stricken efforts to escape to safety he fell down and suffered injuries.
The bear on the other hand has not attacked anyone and only broke into a house and stole some sugar, the forest official said.
The elusive bear is only the latest among repeated reported incidents of wild animals, including tigers and elephants, venturing into the habited areas of the high range district. PTI HMP HMP