He was driving a group of people home from a wedding when he spotted the wounded animal on the side of the road and decided to take a selfie with a bear. The passengers in his taxi warned Bhatara not to approach the wounded bear before he was mauled to death. A stray dog came to the taxi driver’s defense and passengers from the taxi threw rocks and sticks at the bear.
One of them filmed the scene with the cell phone and the video posted on the Internet became viral. Later, forest rangers reached the scene and tranquilized the bear. The animal was treated for its injuries. $450 have been given by the authorities to the man’s family to cover the expenses of a funeral. Sloth bears or Melanus ursinus hold protected status in India. They cannot be hunted. Due to human expansion and rapid population growth, many sloth bears have lost their habitats and source of food. In the past in India, sloth bears were captured and used for entertainment being forced to dance, a practice which was officially outlawed in 1972. A thing to be noticed, India has the highest rate of selfie related deaths. Previosly, in separate incidents in Odisha two men were killed by elephants.