The reasons given to explain the Mysore sloth bear’s unusual behaviour varied. Some of the natives within the bear’s killing range thought that the bear was a sow taking revenge on humanity after her cubs were stolen. Others thought that it was a male which had previously abducted a young girl as its mate, only to have her rescued by the villagers, thus inciting the bear’s anger. Kenneth Anderson believed that the bear had previously been injured by humans and altered its behaviour accordingly.
The bear began its attacks in the Nagvara Hills, east to the town of Arsikere, 105 miles north-west of Bangalore in Mysore State. It made its home in the numerous boulder strewn hillocks, from where it would come down to forage in the fields. As its boldness increased, it began harassing people in both daylight and night-time hours.
In typical sloth bear fashion, the animal attacked its victims faces with its claws and teeth. Those who survived its attacks usually lost one or both eyes, some their noses while others had their cheeks bitten through. Those who died often had their faces completely torn from their heads. At least three of the victims had been partially eaten.
Anticipating an easy hunt, Anderson did not come prepared for a long trip, having brought with him for the hunt just a torch, a .405 Winchester rifle, and a single change of clothes. Arriving at the shrine at 5 in the evening, Anderson planned to wait until darkness to shoot the bear. Starting his search near fig trees, Anderson walked for a mile and a half with no luck in spotting the bear. He then unsuccessfully searched groundnut fields, before finally returning to the shrine. For the rest of the night, Anderson made two subsequent tours, both of which proved unsuccessful. At noon the next day, Anderson was taken to the mouth of what was thought to be the bears cave. After throwing stones into the crevice with no results, Anderson returned to Bangalore, asking Bux to inform him by telegram should the bear attack again.
Setting forth with a rifle, a torch and 3-4 helpers, Anderson journeyed 6 miles into the jungle for an hour and a half before coming across a heavily scrubbed hill. The helpers refused to accompany him any further, and Anderson followed the general directions given by the victim’s brother of the attacks location. After searching for a while through the thick brush, Anderson heard the faint moans of the victim, whom he found lying at the foot of a tree, unconscious and severely mutilated. Realising that he was dying, Anderson carried the man for a short distance, before collapsing from a sprained ankle. The victim died at 5 in the morning, and Anderson was found later by Forest officials and a dozen villagers. He was hospitalised at Chikmagalur for a week before resuming the hunt.