Notwithstanding the terror leashed by stray dogs in Valley, now it is wild bears that have created havoc across valley with more than 13 persons reportedly killed and 157 injured so far in the last few months.
The latest victims were a 10-year-old boy Sahil Hilal from Ganderbal and a lady Fatima from Bun Nambal who were attacked and injured by a wild bear on Tuesday in their vicinity. They were later on referred to SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) for specialized treatment.
According to details gathered by Srinagar based news gathering agency Global News Service (GNS), bears across the Valley from past few months have attacked almost 170 persons mostly from North Kashmir area where 7 deaths have been reported till date. South Kashmir too has witnessed surge in bear mauls while Srinagar city is also in the list as news about bears roaming in Gupkar area of Sonawar hit headlines.
The roaming of bears in Gupkar area had given sleepless nights to former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. The reports of collision of a black bear with a vehicle outside Mufti’s residence on Tuesday this week also came in news.
Experts believe the rise of temperature and food scarcity in the hilly areas is vibrant reason which forced bears to move into civil areas to gratify their needs.
While talking to GNS Director, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Dr. Showkat Zargar said the “bear mauling” is sensitive issue as it needs immediate attention. “We are receiving bear mauled patients who are largely multi fractured and special attention is being given to them,” Zargar said, adding, we are trying to help them whatever means we could.
While talking to Chief Wildlife Warden, Kashmir, A.K Singh told GNS that we are trying our level best to minimize the causalities though we have recorded lowest casualties this year as compared to previous years. “We are also holding awareness camps in different localities to aware people what to do when countered with bears.”
“We have 20 control rooms across Valley and have given necessary orders to the wardens to shoot at site when in need. Mostly Himalayan Black Bears are involved in attacks which mostly maul faces,” Sing added.
Senior Specialist at Plastic Surgery Department, SKIMS, Prof. Adil Ahamd while commenting on the issue said it is pertinent to inform society how figures have crossed significantly. “The foremost reason is that humans are intruding into their (wild) regions while constructing houses and commercial buildings which forced these wild animals to leave their space and move towards civilian areas.”
He said we were earlier receiving few patients of bear mauls in a year. “Now more a couple of patients are being admitted daily in our department. These patients take years to recover as they can’t get their shape of face again. We are informing Government officials to increase the aid to victims so that they can get artificial body parts which are costly to the patients who can’t afford them,” Prof. Adil added.
Meanwhile, in 2010, SKIMS Hospital had published a detailed report on bear attacks on International Journal of Injury which is still leading the chart on the website of Journal Injury.