Blackbuck carcass found in Odisha

Berhampur: The carcass of an adult female blackbuck was found today in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the only habitat of this endangered animal in the state, a forest official said.

“The animal is believed to have died due to old age last night,” Aska forest ranger officer Harihar Mallick said adding the carcass was found near Bhetanai in Aska forest range.

This is the second incident of blackbuck death in the area this week, a forest official said. A one-year old female blackbuck was killed in an attack by dogs in the same area on Monday.

Forest officials said that with this at least five blackbucks have died in the district in the last three months. Last year around 25 animals had died due to various reasons.

As many as 18 and 21 blackbucks had died in 2016-17 and 2015-16 respectively, forest officials added.

The blackbuck is also known as the Indian antelope and hunting it is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

Blackbucks, a diurnal antelope, move out in search of food and this was one of the causes for infighting between the herds, road mishaps and attack by predators, particularly stray dogs, a senior forest officer said.

Speed-breakers and signboards have been put up for drivers to prevent rash driving in areas habitated by blackbucks, said the range officer.

A wildlife protection squad, consisting of 10 members, patrol the area, he added.