After leopard attacks in lower valleys, wild black bears ransack homes in villages of higher Himalayan valleys
Pithoragarh, Nov 26
As the lower valleys of Uttarakhand Himalayan region are grappling with the menace of man eating leopards, the high Himalayan valleys of Johar, Darma and Vyans in Kumoan region of the state are facing the intrusion of wild Himalayan black bear in the valley villages since the population of these villages have migrated to lower valleys due to severe winter conditions.
“The wild black bears are roaming in all the 12 villages of Johar valley from upwards of Bugdiyar, the entrance point of Johar valley,” said Sri Ram Singh Dharmasaktu, president of Malla Johar Vikas Samiti.
Several houses in Burfu, Tola, lwa and Milam villages have been broken and ransacked by these wild bears after villagers have left for winter migration.”We have demanded compensation from administration for these broken houses,” said Dharmasaktu.
As the villages are empty due to winter migration of villagers, the wild black bears looking for food are breaking into empty houses and eating rice and other foods kept there. “These bears have become addict of salt and rice from last several years,” he added.
The vegetation eating wild animals have now become addicted to salt and rice after they started eating these foods easily available in the empty houses from last several years as villagers did not locked their houses perfectly,” said Dharmasaktu.
The bear scare in also prevalent in Darma and Chaudans valleys of Dharchula sub-division of Pithoragarh district where the bear attacks have increased in Dantu, Bon, Philam and Sipu villages of Darma valley in the last four years.”To eat the ration kept in homes of families, who had gone for winter migration, the wild bears enter into houses after breaking roofs of these houses,” said Jaman Singh Datal, Gram Pradhan of Dantu village of Darma valley.
He said that, due to regular attacks of wild bears during winter months, Darma valley villagers are afraid to leave food items in their homes .” It seems even the forests that provided enough food for wild animals like bears, are not left in providing enough food to these from last some years,” said Jaman singh
According to villagers, the Himalayan wild bears have been addicted to food kept in houses after 2011, when they fed on tinned food left by security forces in the open.”The tinned food over left by security forces deputed there, got them addicted to salt and rice and due to that addiction the bears are now breaking houses in search of similar food,” said Dharmasaktu.