Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 9:
Residents of Palasuni and adjoining areas in Odisha capital had a sleepless night yesterday after the news of a hyena entering city spread like wildfire.
A hyena which entered into Palasuni area last night, put the residents on their toes all through the night. Soon after the news spread in the city, panic gripped Pandra, GGP Colony, Prachi Vihar, Rasulgarh Nuasahi, Jagannath Nagar, Sai Vihar and other areas surrounding Palasuni in the city.
The hyena is suspected to have sneaked into the city from Bharatpur or Chandaka forests through Kuakhai river in search of food, a forest official said.
“A spotted hyena of around 4.5 feet long entered into Palasuni village at around 7 pm. The animal was first spotted by a child when it was sleeping in the backyard of one Sarat Nayak of Bhoi Sahi. The minor got frightened after seeing the wild animal and raised an alarm,” said Sisir Das, a resident of Prachi Vihar in Palasuni area.
People gathered at the spot and pelted stones at the hyena. In a bid to escape the curious onlookers, the hyena jumped a 5-feet wall and the local residents followed its path. They chased the animal to drive him away from the human habitation. In a stampede-like situation that resulted from the gathering, two persons sutained injuries. While one person fractured his hand after falling from a wall, several others too sustained injuries while chasing the animal.
The hyena then ran towards Pandra area on the outskirts of the city at around 9 pm, an eyewitness said.
A resident of Pandra said that the hyena was hiding behind bamboo trees at the village end. However, a Palasuni resident claimed that the animal is still in Palasuni area.
Later in the night, the Mancheswar police and officials of City Forest Office reached Palasuni village and launched a search operation but without any success.
Panic prevailed in the area and the commuters took alternative route to reach their homes fearing hyena attack.
“Night patrolling was extended to Palasuni and Pandra area last night. We are doing our best to track the movement of the hyena. There is no need to panic,” Forester Prasanna Kumar Parida said.
“The forest officials should make aware people that hyena is not a violent animal and doesn’t attack humans. They should not panic and leave the hyena to escape into the wild on its own. The way the city is expanding, the forest area is shrinking and we are encroaching upon their habitation,” wildlife expert Biswajit Mohanty said.