Panic grips Srinagar as bears stray into human habitation

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Srinagar, Sep 13 (UNI) Panic gripped the entire Gagribal area of Srinagar city, mostly frequented by tourists, this morning soon after the news spread that three wild bears had strayed into the human habitation from the nearby Zabarwan forest area.

Range Officer Shamasuddin Ahmed, who was at the spot, told UNI that they had received information this morning that three wild bears had strayed into the human habitation in Gagribal area from the nearby Zabarwan forest area.

The news triggered panic among the residents and the tourists staying in various hotels in the area, he said, adding the wildlife officials immediately rushed to the spot to supervise the operation.

''We are trying to save the people and the bears as well. As per our information, one of the bears has gone back to the forest area while the remaining two are still in the human habitation,'' he said.

The official, seen with a tranquiliser gun, said they were now bursting crackers to scare away the animals.

The incidence of bears straying into the human habitation has increased in the recent past. A wild bear was burned and stoned to death in a village in Tral area of south Kashmir some months ago after the animal had killed a child there.

The bears have also reportedly damaged the turf in the world's one of the best golf courses in Kashmir.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah told reporters here that bears were making rounds of the picturesque Royal Springs Golf Course, located on the banks of the famed Dal Lake and foothills of Zabarwan range.

Dr Abdullah was taking part in the two-day Kashmir Uzma invitational golf tournament, which began here yesterday.

''Something needs to be done immediately to stop the wild bears from entering the golf course from Zabarwan forests,'' he added.

UNI

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