Bear stuck in well dies in flawed rescue operation in Kerala

Bear stuck in well dies in flawed rescue operation in Kerala

Photo: IANS

In what appears to be the consequence of a major goof-up by a team comprising forest, police and the veterinarian to rescue a bear that fell into a well in the suburban town of Vellanadu in the state capital district, it was taken out dead from the well on Thursday.

According to the forest officials, the incident occurred at the house of one Aravind at Vellanadu around Wednesday-Thursday midnight.

Hearing the sound coming from a well, Aravind rushed out of the house and was startled to see the bear.


The bear is understood to have come searching for hens, But, what raised eyebrows was how the bear reached Vellanadu, which is located about 17 kms from the forest area. Locals say that even wild pigs are rarely spotted in the area.

The bear was spotted hanging on the ring of the well and had managed to stay afloat. But, things went awry during the rescue operation after a tranquilizer shot was fired by the local veterinarian.

Five minutes after the shot was fired, the bear sank to the bottom of the well. Soon three people went into the well, but they could not lift the animal and had to come out.

The officials then used pumps to lower the water level in the well and by 10.15 a.m. the fire brigade officials went down and put the bear in a net and pulled it out.

There appeared to be improper coordination in the rescue efforts as it was around 6.30 a.m. the local forest officials arrived at the spot.

By 8.55 a.m. the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo veterinarian was asked to give the first tranquiliser shot, but it failed, and at 9.20 a.m. the second shot was fired and in 5 minutes the bear which until then was clinging on to the ring of the well soon sunk into the well.

At 9.35 a.m., three people went down the well, but in a few minutes they came back and by 10 a.m. the water was pumped out.

At 10.15 a.m. the fire brigade officials went into the well and were able to place the bear which was unconscious into a plastic net and taken out.

Despite the best efforts, the bear had breathed its last.

Eyebrows have been raised on the flawed strategy adopted for the rescue as before firing the tranquiliser shots the depth of the water level in the well was not ascertained, and pumps were put into service much later.