The shocking attack came as a man and his wife were returning home from an Indian temple visit in the early hours of the morning, with experts claiming this type of attack was “very unusual”.
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A sloth bear mauled a couple to death in an Indian forest before playing with their bodies for hours.
The horrific incident took place in a forest in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and was described by experts as “very unusual”.
This was announced by a forest official CBS News that the animal continued to bother the couple’s bodies – but did not feed on the people it killed, contrary to witness reports earlier this week.
Although human encounters with sloth bears are relatively common in this part of the world, fatal attacks are rare.
It would be “very unusual” for the animals to feed on human flesh, an expert said.
The bear died about two hours after it was captured, divisional forest officer Gaurav Sharma confirmed.
A medical examination confirmed earlier reports that the bear was rabid.
However, no human remains were found to have been included.
The attack happened on June 5, when a man and his wife were returning home from a temple visit at around 6:30 am.
The sloth bear first attacked and killed the woman as the pair were walking through the forest of Panna National Park.
Her husband was then killed trying to rescue his wife from the bear’s clutches, reports CBS.
The deceased couple have been identified as Mukesh Rai, 43, and his wife Gudiya, 39, according to the sources The time of India.
Neha Sinha, a conservation biologist and author, told CBS News that sloth bears typically feed on honey and insects, calling this attack “very unusual.”
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Sinha added, “Generally there is conflict during the mahua season when people collect flowers and feed the bears.”
Some villagers reportedly gathered at the spot and tried to scare the bear away by firing shots in the air.
But the tactic failed, according to eyewitness accounts.
The Mahua is a tree that grows in various parts of South Asia and flowers in late spring and early summer.
The flowers are highly coveted by both humans and sloth bears, and local residents often go into the woods to collect the flowers at this time of year.
Corresponding National GeographicSloth bears are solitary and generally nocturnal.
They grow up to six feet long and males can weigh up to 310 pounds.
Females now weigh up to 210 pounds.
When threatened, sloth bears often respond by standing on their hind legs and showing their front claws.
Sloth bears feed primarily on termites and ants, as well as fruits and flowers.
They are known for chopping honeycombs from trees, earning them the nickname honey bears.
They are considered endangered animals and are threatened by habitat loss.
Sometimes the bears are captured and used in performances or hunted for their aggressive behavior and destruction of crops.
The highest prevalence of sloth bear attacks across India was in the state of Madhya Pradesh, according to a Study published in March.
Regional authorities said the couple’s family would receive 400,000 Indian rupees – the equivalent of £4,190 – in compensation for their loss.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/couple-mauled-death-very-unusual-27215741 Couple beaten to death in 'very unusual' and cruel attack by rabid sloth bear - World News