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Gujarat: Tribal woman killed in sloth bear attack

According to RM Parmar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Devgarh Baria, the incident is the first recorded fatal conflict involving a sloth bear this year.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
Updated: December 11, 2021 7:33:59 pm
GujaratAn official said that the woman suffered injuries on her head, face and neck.

A 42-year-old tribal woman from Amlipanichhotra village in Devgarh Baria taluka of Dahod district died in a sloth bear attack in the Saagtala range of the forest’s biodiversity zone on Friday.

The victim, Sanjli Mashru Rathwa, was grazing cattle when she was attacked by the bear, forest officials said. The forest department recovered Rathwa’s body late on Friday night and awarded a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to her family.

According to RM Parmar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Devgarh Baria, the incident is the first recorded fatal conflict involving a sloth bear this year. Parmar told The Sunday Express, “We received a call on Friday evening that a woman from the nearby village had gone into the forest and been attacked by a sloth bear. Our teams went in search of the victim and found her body in a remote location of the forest area, late on Friday evening. The body has been sent for post mortem.”

The DCF added that the woman suffered fatal injuries on her head, face, and neck — a typical manner of attack by a sloth bear. “The victim was ambushed with an attack on her head, face and neck, which is almost instantly fatal… We have awarded compensation of Rs 4 lakh to her kin as per the policy,” Parmar said.

Parmar said sloth bears — scientific name Melursus ursinus– are omnivorous and attack humans only in defence or due to perceived threat.

“The species of sloth bears that we have here are omnivores and survive on forest fruits and insects. They do not attack predatorily but in the months of December and January female sloth bears get aggressive as it is they give birth to their litter after a seven-month gestation from their mating season in June. It is likely that the victim strayed unknowingly near the bear cubs, causing the mother bear to attack,” Parmar added.

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