Coimbatore

Forest Department traps sloth bear that strayed into residential area

The sloth bear that strayed in to Udhagamandalam town on Wednesday.

The sloth bear that strayed in to Udhagamandalam town on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: M . Sathyamoorthy

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‘The animal will be released into the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve’

After a marathon six-hour-long operation, the Forest Department successfully tranquillized and trapped a male sloth bear that had found its way into the heart of Udhagamandalam town on Wednesday morning.

The sloth bear, believed to be around seven years old, was found wandering the streets near the Ooty Municipal Market at around 6.30 a.m. Local residents chased it away from the road, and the animal fled into a thickly populated, residential area, and took shelter in a residential compound.

Forest officials were informed of the presence of the animal. With the assistance of the departments of Police and Fire and Rescue Services, the forest staff managed to cordon off the area to the public, and contained the animal and prevented it from fleeing.

Around 2 p.m, N.S. Manoharan, Regional Joint Director of Veterinary Services, arrived at the location and managed to tranquillize the animal with a dart gun. After allowing the drugs to subdue the animal, the forest staff managed to restrain the animal using ropes, before carrying it into a cage.

After a thorough inspection to check for injuries, the cage was closed and boarded onto the back of a flatbed truck.

Srinivas R. Reddy, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, confirmed to presspersons that the bear had no injuries. He said that the animal would be released into the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve as soon as possible.

He also added that the bear entering Udhagamandalam town was a “stray incident.” “There are plenty of wooded areas surrounding the town itself, and it seems probable that the animal found its way into town by accident,” said Mr. Reddy, adding that the movement of other wildlife, such as gaur inside the Udhagamandalam town too was common.

Also present during the operation were Deputy Director of MTR (Core Zone) and in-charge of Nilgiris forest division, S. Senbagapriya, and Assistant Conservator of Forests K. Saravanakumar.

As word spread about the presence of the bear in town, hundreds of people made their way to the location to catch a glimpse of the animalThe Nilgiris district police were deputed for crowd control and to ensure that people remained a safe distance away from the site of the capture.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:32:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/forest-department-traps-sloth-bear-that-strayed-into-residential-area/article26524914.ece

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