9-year-old Shabaz was seriously injured in the attack.
BAREILLY: A 9-year-old boy was scalped by a bear while he was asleep in the courtyard of his house in Barkhaliganj village of Khuthar block in Shahjahanpur district on Friday morning. The boy’s father too sustained injuries in his leg while trying to save his son.
The father-son due was admitted to a hospital in Shahjahanpur city where the minor’s condition is said to be extremely critical. This is the first known bear attack on humans in Shahjahanpur in last 20 years. The bear initially targeted the cattle of the family and later attacked the boy. The village falls on Shahjahanpur-Pilibhit border and adjacent to Khuthar range of forests.
Babu Shah, the father, told TOI, “I was sleeping outside my house with my son and two daughters when I heard the lowing of my domestic cow. I immediately rushed towards the cowshed and a large animal, possibly a bear, suddenly came out and attacked my son Shabaz, who was sleeping on a charpoy. Both his sisters got scared and ran inside the house and I used a stick to rescue my son. I was also injured during this attempt but my son was saved but his condition is extremely critical as his scalp was ripped off. We have never seen any bear in this area and everyone is shocked.”
Sub-divisional forest officer MN Singh told TOI, “This village is nearly one kilometre away from the forest area and we have found the pug parks of a bear. It is quite strange as no bear attack has been reported from here in the past several years. The bear has ripped off a part of the boy’s scalp. Since the attack happened outside the forest area, the family would be entitled for compensation as per the law. We are providing assistance in treatment. The villagers have been advised to stay alert not to sleep in the open until the animal is traced.”
While emergency medical officer, Dr Mohammed Meeraj said, “The victims of such scalp injuries can have long lasting morbidity. They are normally susceptible to infection. In this case, we are trying to save the boy’s life and may have to refer him to a higher centre for surgery.”