VELLORE: More than a year ago, it was a leopard, which scared the residents of villages near Ambur adjacent to the forest areas. Now it is the turn of a sloth bear and lone elephant to strike terror among locals in villages near Ambur, sources said.
The sloth bear has been spotted wandering in farms near Vadakupattu between Ambur and Vaniyambadi. A villager Palani suffered lacerations when he tried to chase away the bear crossing his farm on Tuesday. He was treated as an out-patient in the local hospital. Villagers demanded that the animal be caught and returned to the wild.
When asked about this, senior forest officials in Tirupattur said, “We have created awareness about the animal in the surrounding villages. The bear reportedly strayed into Tamil Nadu from the animal sanctuary in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.”
Forest officials added that the forest near Vadakupattu is on panchayat land and is not a reserve forest.
“Reserve forests are only in Pachur and Kothur,” officials said.
However, villagers, specially, local youth, started chasing the bear as a lark and could be seen running after the animal unmindful of the danger they faced if it charged back.
A clipping of it has been uploaded on social media.
Officials saw no sign of the bear on Wednesday and said it could have gone back to its natural habitat.
Meanwhile, tribals of Naikaneri near Ambur were frightened when a lone elephant started harassing pedestrians and vehicles stopping and damaging them.
While demanding to chase it away into Andhra Pradesh forest, many parents refused to send their wards to school fearing for the lives of their children.
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