… officials have yet to confirm what mauled the man

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

A man is recuperating in the eastern regional referral hospital in Mongar after he sustained severe injuries when a wild animal attacked him in Lingmethang, Mongar on November 13.

Health officials said that the 51-year-old victim from India is in stable condition.

The labourer with the ongoing Gyalsung project at Bongdeyma was suddenly attacked by the unidentified wild animal near the campsite at around 8.45pm when he went outside to relieve himself.

The incident was reported to project officials who immediately took him to the regional hospital. Medical officials said the victim suffered a severe facial injury, as well as injury to his limbs.

An orthopoedic surgeon and an oral and maxilla facial surgeon are currently treating the patient.

Oral and Maxilla facial surgeon Dr. Chandra Rai said the patient has suffered a deep wound in the upper lip, with two teeth removed and a fracture of the maxillary bone.

His torn lip was stitched from one corner of the mouth to another. The surgeon said they were planning a conservative treatment without surgery to treat the maxillary bone fracture. Several stitches were also made to close the deep wounds on a leg and a hand.

Dr Chandra Rai said that the patient was in stable condition and that he would need to remain in the hospital for another five days at least.

The victim told officials that he could not identify the animal.

Local residents say bears have not been seen in the locality. Some said black panthers or spotted leopards have been spotted in the area before.

Meanwhile, forest officials have yet to confirm what mauled the man.  A machine operator in the area told foresters that he saw a black panther-like animal on the night of November 14.

Forestry officials have installed two camera traps around the area where the incident occurred. They could not identify the pawprints, because dogs and labourers have since disturbed the area.