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India in panic as drunken bears kill 8 villagers

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Villagers in India are in panic mode as wild bears suspected of being under the influence of intoxicating flowers have ventured from the forest and killed and wounded 20 in recent days.

Eight were killed by bears in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, BBC reported. Another 12 from the heavily forested area around Kotpad were injured in bear attacks.

Last week, angry villagers mounted a counter-attack on the bears, chasing them and beating one of them to death, BBC reported.

The suspicion is the bears have eaten too much of a certain type of flower that is intoxicating and turns them violent, BBC said. The flowers grow on mahua trees, which villagers use to brew alcohol, BBC reported.

Forestry department workers have camped out near the villages with tranquilizer guns to help fend off the bears, BBC said.

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