Mizo 'Bear-fighter' still goes strong

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Aizawl, Oct 1 (UNI) Seventy-two-year-old bear-fighter from Mizoram survived his third encounter with the wild beast and managed to tame its mighty paws.

He is presently undergoing treatment at the Aizawl Civil Hospital's orthopaedic ward for the severe injuries that he sustained during the battle on September 27 at his sugarcane farm in Baktawng village, about 140 kms from Aizawl.

Sources said Sangzakhuma had been aware that a bear used to ravage his sugarcane fields and so laid a trap. However, before he could execute his plan, the bear appeared all of a sudden and attacked him.

Armed with only a 'dao', the man had no choice but to fight the animal. After several minutes, the bear decided to flee and left him severely wounded.

Sangzakhuma was rushed to the Serchhip hospital from where he was later referred to Aizawl.

Sangzakhuma is very unhappy with the Forest department's wildlife division.

''They told us to protect wild animals and not to kill them. But the animals which we had protected have not only destroyed my plantations but even attempted to kill me,'' he said.

Presently confined to a hospital bed, the old man has decided to demand compensation from the Forest department for the damage to his sugarcane farm and the injuries that he had sustained.

Sangzakhuma had similarly fought a wounded bear in 1966 but the bear died mainly because it had been wounded earlier. Later in 1996, he fought again with a large bear, which tried to devour his sugarcanes, resulting in him ending up with broken shoulder bones, he recollected.


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