TWO villagers were seriously injured after being attacked by a large male black bear that escaped from Phnom Tamao Zoo in Takeo province on Thursday, said Seng Saroeun, deputy police chief of Trapaing Sap commune.
Son Tim, a 50-year-old farmer from the commune’s Trapaing Sap village, sustained serious wounds on his leg and hand when he tried to catch the escaped bear in his rice field on Friday. Meanwhile, Minh Chan, 57, was injured in the leg on the same day while trying to chase the escapee out of her watermelon patch, said Seng Sarouen.
He said the victims were rescued by villagers and were immediately sent to the district health centre, adding that the zoo would pay for their treatment.
Nhem Thy, deputy director of Phnom Tamao Zoo, said that the male bear escaped on Thursday night by digging a hole to escape from his cage.
“We sent our staff to catch it when we received reports that it bit villagers in Trapaing Sap village and we shot it with tranquiliser darts,” he said. He said the bear was then safely returned to its cage in the zoo.
“I noted that this bear is cruel and the reason it bit people is because it was frequently violated by people,” he said.