Despite its endangered status, a spotted deer that strayed into a village in search of water was killed and was ready to cook, when forest officials crashed the party. Two were arrested for allegedly killing the deer and skinning the protected mammal.
According to sources in the Forest Department, the incident occurred at Kenchayyana Doddi village in Cowdalli wildlife range of Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagar district. It has barely been a fortnight since the incident occurred. While forest officials are sweating over evidence to nail the culprits, a regional court granted bail to the accused, a few days ago.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Nagaraj M, assistant conservator of forests (ACF), said, “The deer had strayed out of the forest in search of water. It entered the village located on the jungle fringes. Soon, dogs began to bark at the deer. In a panic, the animal entered the backyard of Jadiyamma’s house. Even though the lady tried to shoo away the creature, some villagers coaxed her not to do so and instead caught the animal.”
Officers revealed that it was a six-member gang that killed the deer that weighed 30 kg. “We have informers in every village and get to know about developments on a daily basis. One of our informers tipped us of about the incident. In less than half-an-hour, we were at the premises of the house where preparations were on to cook an elaborate meal. Unfortunately, the deer had already been killed and they had begun skinning the animal. We could only arrest two — Subba and Devaraj, since the other four fled the scene,” the ACF explained. What is more disturbing is that a post-mortem report by wildlife veterinarians revealed that the deer was pregnant and due for delivery in a few days. “We have charged the culprits with hunting and killing the deer under Wildlife Act and recovered deer’s body and pelt — which has considerable value in the illegal market,” Nagaraj said.
Nagraj said they have Jadiyamma’s witness account to the incident. “We will gather all possible evidence and nail the culprits,” Nagaraj assured.