A hungry sloth bear in search of food in Karnataka’s Channapatna ended up grievously attacking and blinding an old woman in the wee hours of Thursday, an official said.Also Read - Viral Video: Family Picnic Turns Sour as 12-Year-Old Boy Comes Out of Woods Followed by Bear, Here's What Happened Next

“The bear, aged around 6-8 years attacked the woman when she came out of her house around 6 a.m. in the morning, severely injuring and blinding her in one eye,” said a Ramanagara district forest official to IANS.

So severe was the attack that one of the eyes of the woman, Sakamma (65), was gouged out and fell on the ground.

“The bear also attacked Sakamma’s son. She has been shifted to a hospital in Bengaluru and is expected to survive the attack,” said the official. He said the doctors will tell on Friday if Sakamma can see with her other eye.

According to the official, around 3 a.m. on Thursday, the bear came towards the APMC market attracted to the smell of rotten mangoes emanating from a discarded dump.

“Four people spotted the bear and alerted the forest department. Along with the police, we have started announcing in Channapatna that nobody should venture out until 7 a.m. in the morning as the bear is on the run,” he said.

According to the official, the department had also informed Sakamma and her son Sudheer (40).

“We have tried to trace the bear but could not find it. I think it returned to the forest. If it returns we will try to capture it,” said the official.

The forest department could not establish if the bear is a male or female. The official said the department will foot the entire medical bill of Sakamma but said there may not be any compensation as no death happened.

Similarly, no case was also registered for the same reason, an FIR is filed if death happens, said the official. Recently, the forest department has captured three leopards, suspected to have carried away and devoured a sleeping boy and an old woman in Ramanagara district.

Channapatna is located in the Ramanagara Division of Karnataka Forest Department. Spread across 415 sq km, the division is further sub-divided into Ramanagara and Kanakapura.

The two sub-divisions consist of five forest ranges, Ramanagara, Channapatna, Maaadi, Kanakapura and Sathanur.

Leopard, elephant, spotted deer, sambar, bonnet macaque, slender loris, jungle cat, common mongoose, stripe-necked mongoose, striped hyena, jackal, wild dog, sloth bear, vulture and others thrive in the Ramanagara division.