A cattle-lifter bear was on prowl on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir Ganderbal district throwing villagers into a tailspin.
The residents of the Haripora village of Ganderbal district, said the bear struck in the early hours of Monday morning, lifting its fifth prey from the village.
“It tore the iron window mesh of our cowshed and entered during the night.
“It lifted a calf and broke the shed’s door from inside to escape with its prey”, said Muhammad Shafi Bhat whose calf was lifted by the prowling bear.
Monday’s is the fifth cattle attack by the bear in this village. Earlier, under similar circumstances, it entered the cowshed of another villager in Haripora.
Abdul Rashid Sheikh lost his calf to the prowler a fortnight earlier.
“We shouted and beat iron sheets after we heard noises from our cowshed. By then, the bear had lifted our calf and run away.
“We chased it and in panic the bear let go of the critically wounded calf that later succumbed to injuries caused by the predator,” said Abdul Rashid.
In between, the bear killed a sheep and two more calves in the adjoining hamlets.
Villagers fear that the predating bear could also attack children and wayfarers if it fails to get its kill of the cattle.
The wildlife protection department has decided to set up cages in the village today to capture the predating bear.
“We will capture it and shift it to the rehabilitation centre inside the Dachigam national park.
“We are setting up the cages today,” an officer of the wildlife protection department said.
Till the prowler is captured and shifted away, scores of villagers in Haripora are spending sleepless nights to haplessly guard their cows, calves and sheep in the village.