In yet another man-animal conflict, two night watchmen of private farms in Vandiyur village in Andipatti taluk in the district were attacked by a pair of bears on Thursday evening.

Forest department staff said bear movement in the area, which had a large number of fruit-bearing trees and vegetable farms, was under surveillance.

The victims – K. Thangaraj (49) and G. Thangaraj (70) – were in two farms. While one of them had gone into the forest to collect leaves for goats and cattle, he was attacked by two bears. However, he managed to escape from the animals. When the other person rushed to the spot on hearing his cries, he also came under attack by the bears. He raised an alarm and a few villagers rescued him.

Immediately, they called a 108 ambulance, which carried both the victims to Theni Government Medical College Hospital.

Collector M. Pallavi Baldev visited the duo at the hospital on Friday. Dean Thirunavukarasu explained to her their condition and the course of treatment.

Meanwhile, District Forest Officer (Megamalai) C. Kalanidhi said a team of forest guards was deployed in the forest area.

He appealed to the people not to venture into dense forests.

Two days ago, the farmers in Thevaram had complained about crops being destroyed by elephant. They said the forest personnel should step up surveillance using cameras and alert farmers as the region had a thick forest cover.

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