Himalayan black bear mauls woman, husband escapes by climbing tree

Updated: 22 November, 2020 15:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Dehradun

The Himalayan black bear has been listed as a vulnerable species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species

Photo for representational purpose
Photo for representational purpose

In a shocking incident, a 47-year-old woman was killed by a Himalayan black bear on Friday in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district. Ashutosh Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO) Badrinath said the woman, identified as Maheshi Devi, along with her husband had gone to a nearby forest for cutting grass for cattle fodder when a bear attacked them.

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Speaking to Hindustan Times he said, "The husband climbed a tree and saved himself from the bear attack but the wife was mauled by the bear." Singh said that after the required formalities are completed, the kin of the deceased woman would be given compensation.

Singh said the woman died on the spot. "With the onset of winter, bear attacks increase as they come down from snowy higher reaches in search of food. This is one of the main causes of the surge in man-bear conflict here in winter months," the divisional forest officer said.

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This is not the first incident of a bear attack in the state over the last one year or so. In the first week of September, a 48-year-old man was killed by a bear in the Pithoragarh district. The victim was a labourer working on a road project on the Munsiyari-Milam road stretch. In May 2020, a fire watcher of the forest department was attacked and severely injured by a bear in the Khatna area of US Nagar while he was out on patrol.

The Himalayan black bears are found in and around Himalayan meadows at an elevation of 10,000 to 12,000 feet. Interestingly, they come down to 5,000-6,000 feet in the winter months in search of food. The Himalayan black bear has been listed as a vulnerable species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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First Published: 22 November, 2020 12:30 IST

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