Blackbuck poached near Aska forest

Berhampur: A female blackbuck with bullet injuries died in a veterinary hospital after it was rescued by forest personnel from near a college here, forest officials said on Tuesday.

"This is for the first time a case of blackbuck poaching was recorded in the range in the last five to six years," Forest Range Officer of Aska N C Dora said after the nearly 3-year-old animal was rescued and died on Monday.

President of Blackbuck Protection Commitee Amulya Upadhyay said locals had not been involved in the poaching as they had been pretecting the blackbucks for generations.

Many blackbucks often strayed into human habitations and poachers might have taken the opportunity, wildlife activists said.

According to a census in July 2011, there are 2,181 blackbucks in Aska, Buguda, Polasara, Khallikote and Berhampur forest ranges compared to 1,672 in 2008. Their number was 551 in 1998, 786 in 2004 and 1,101 in 2006.

Many blackbucks have been migrating to the forest areas in the Jagannath Prasad, Belaguntha, Polasara and Khallikote towns, officials said..