Sajanagad: In a month, four bears have died in Nilagiri area of Balasore district in mysterious ways.
The back-to-back casualties of the animals have led to panic among the locals, as they fear possible spread of diseases in the locality.
Carcasses of two bears with wounds were found at Ghagaranala in Jamudiha panchayat in two days. Two days ago, a bear was found dead at Chalanapal. It was initially suspected to have been beaten to death by people as its snout had blood. Some locals said that the bear had come down from the Swarnachuda hill in search of food, but accidentally fell into a ditch Saturday.
As the animal kept growling, some people rushed to the spot and had beaten it dead. Sunday locals saw its carcass and informed the forest department.
Another bear had died at Kathagochhha. Locals are worried about the causes of the bear deaths while the forest department has not yet come out with valid reasons.
Nilagiri forest ranger Sukumar Das said domestic animals, dogs and bears are found dead in the area. Reports point out wounds on the bodies of the bears.
Balasore divisional forest officer Biswaraj Panda said a special team will be formed to look into the causes of bear casualties.