Teenager Mauled by Bear in Battambang Province

A large bear mauled a 16-year-old boy in Battambang province’s Samlot district Tuesday, clawing the teenager’s face and body be­fore be­ing chased away by villagers, officials said Thursday. 

Neu Veth was one of eight youths from Kompong Lpov commune’s Prey Thom village clearing trees for farmland when the brown-colored bear, estimated to weigh about 200 kg, emerged from the forest and charged the group, district police Chief Ly Buoy said.

“The youths ran away and climbed up trees to escape the bear, but, unfortunately, Neu Veth could not run away fast enough,” Ly Buoy said.

A nearby group of villagers, also clearing farmland, heard the screams and ran at the bear with axes and machetes, he said.

“Neu Veth could have died if the villagers were any later to help,” he said, adding that he did not know what type of bear it was that attacked the youth.

Neu Veth is now receiving treatment at Battambang provincial hospital, but his condition is unknown, Ly Buoy said, adding that this was the first bear attack in his five years as district police chief.

District Governor Hem Sophal called the attack the first of its kind.

“I think maybe the bear lost its way,” he said.

Licadho investigator Heng Tay Hong said more bear attacks will occur as villagers continue to clear Cambodia’s forests.

“The animals don’t have adequate sanctuary because the villagers cut down trees,” he said.


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