Bear kills milking cows

Wildlife: Rukubji farmers are on their toes after a bear killed two milking cows in two days in the village.

The farmer who lost the cows on February 1 and 2, Mani Dorji said the bear broke into the cowshed around 4 am on February 1, killed one and wounded another. The bear came back in the night on February 2 around 11:45 pm and killed the wounded cow that was left in the shed.

“On hearing noise in the shed, we rushed to the cowshed and managed to chase away the beer,” he said. But it was too late.  The cow was also killed. The same bear, Mani Dorji said had killed an ox in a neighboring village on the night of January 31.

It was not the first time Mani experienced bear attacking his cattle. He claims to have lost an ox to bear attack last summer.  “I bought the two cows few years ago paying, Nu 80,000,” said Mani. “They were the source of my income.”

Mani Dorji said people are scared and started guarding cowsheds at night in groups. He said around 15 heads of cattle were killed by bears excluding those in neighbouring Chendebji.

Farmers are not compensated for cattle killed by bears. But they have lodged complaints at the Nobding range office and requested foresters to catch the bear.

Bear attack in winter is shocking, said another farmer, Kuenzang. She said most cowsheds are located at least a kilometer away from the houses. “It is risky to go alone, so we guard the cowshed in groups.”

Kuenzang said the bear could even attack human. “Nothing had been done even after reporting to authorities,” she said. “We have reported to both the forest offices and gewog, but as of now nothing has been done.”

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue

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