A man who wanted to click a selfie with an injured bear in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district paid a heavy price for his audacity on Wednesday. The man, identified as Prabhu Bhatara, wanted to click a selfie with a wounded bear but was mauled to death, according to a Hindustan Times report. The news was confirmed by the forest department officers who stated that the man’s recklessness cost him his life. The incident took place when Bhatara who was a driver by profession was returning to Papadahandi from Kotapad after attending a wedding with a few other people in an SUV. He then stopped the car near a forest to attend nature’s call. It is here that Bhatara spotted a wounded bear and decided to click a selfie with him.
Dhanurjaya Mohapatra, a forest ranger said that Prabhu Bhatara was cautioned by the other people who were in the vehicle against doing it. But despite being aware of the risk that was involved, Bhatara went ahead with attempting the picture. It is when that he was chased and fatally mauled to death by the bear. Mohapatra further said that Bhatara died on the spot.
The forest officials quoted by HT said that the nearest office is located around 10 kms from the site where the attack took place. The body of the driver was recovered late on Wednesday night after the bear was tranquilised. They also stated that the fellow passengers in the car instead of helping the driver were busy shooting the incident on their mobile phones and just sat there watching the whole incident take place. The only help that came for the dying man was by a stray dog who fought with the bear but failed to save Prabhu Bhatara from the bear’s grip. The bear is now being treated for his injuries, Mohapatra said.
In order to perform his last rites, the forest officials have paid an amount of Rs 30000 to Bhatara’s family. Locals angry with the incident staged a roadblock and demanded ex-gratia payment for the kin of the deceased. The forest officials have said that the family of the deceased will be paid the full compensation within the next 15 days.