A wild bear was battered to death by villagers in east India after it mauled seven people, including a child.
The animal entered their houses in the village of Kesarapalli in the state of Orissa from the nearby Malati forest early in the morning and attacked them, a forest official said.
It is not the first time bears have been killed by villagers this year.
In the latest incident, villagers reportedly panicked and killed the bear before forest officials arrived. Some of those attacked were taken to a nearby health centre, but their injuries were not known.
The forest department registered a criminal case, but no arrests have been made yet, the Times of India quoted forest officer P K Mallick saying.
It is estimated that around 15 people have been injured by wild bears in different parts of the district in the last six months.
Wildlife experts have blamed a loss of natural habitat – particularly for stone quarrying – as the reason for the increasing bear and human contact in the district.
“The natural habitat of the bear has been destroyed due to uncontrolled quarrying near the forests,” activist Biswajit Mohanty told the newspaper.