A black bear ventured into the premises of a government-run school in Banihal town of Ramban district before the arrival of students on Saturday morning, prompting a joint rescue operation by police and wildlife department, officials said.
The students were, however, allowed inside the premises nearly one-hour beyond their scheduled timing after it was found that the animal had fled taking advantage of thick vegetation in the area, the officials said.
They said panic gripped Banihal around 9 am when some locals spotted the black bear entering in the premises of the government higher secondary school for boys from a nearby government building where it is believed to have taken shelter during the night.
On getting information, police and the wildlife protection teams rushed to the scene to capture the bear but it could not be traced after its presence was initially noticed near the school laboratory, the officials said.
They said the joint teams have been fanned out in the area to trace out the bear for the safety of the public.
Principal of the school, Abdul Rashid Giri, said the students were allowed to attend their classes after a delay of nearly one hour, owing to the presence of the wild bear.
The locals said bear sightings have become a routine over the past week in the town and adjoining areas including on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
”The presence of three bears around Banihal is a grave threat and the department concerned needs to take necessary measures to ensure their timely capture for the safety of the people,” said Farooq Ahmad, a local resident. (Agencies)