Kundapur: Over the past years, the two districts have had a limited species of visitors from the wild – leopards and tigers, elephants and, occasionally, bisons. Now there is a new addition.
For many days, there have reports that some residents had seen a bear or a sleuth of bears moving around near the forest edges next to Hemmadi. Some bears are believed to have made the areas under the Alur reserve forest range their home.
At the same time, there was also an impression that it could be some other animal of a mild nature which had been mistaken for a bear by the persons who spotted them. But on Friday the rumours were confirmed.
Early in the morning, a few women had gone to the Edrubail forest, which is located five kms from the Alur, to collect foliage and firewood for their daily use. They spotted a bear sitting on top of a tree. Out of scare, they all ran for theri lives towards Alur.
The matter was reported to the forest personnel. They arrived and confirmed the presence of bears in the forest. There is a complaint from the residents that they had done nothing to get the villagers out of the scary feeling.
After the bear was spotted, the human movement is restricted. Children residing in Mundakodu, Edrubail, Karigoli, Satakodu and other places have been absenting themselves from school. As many as 35 students have stayed away from classes last week.
Many of them have to walk along the woody passages over a distance of 5 kilometres. Some parents have taken the courage to accompany their children to and from the school, so that the classes are not missed.
The forest personnel have to take immediate steps to dispel the fear from the minds of the villagers and ensure an atmosphere of scare, say the residents.
(File pics of Indian bear for graphic effect only)