Strange IndiaStrange India

Indian antelopes are protected under the same rights as tigers and elephants.Bengaluru: More than 300 endangered blackbucks roaming around six villages in Karnataka’s Vijayapora district are at risk from poachers, highway traffic and electrical fencing by farmers, wildlife activists have said.The blackbucks have been spotted roaming around the Indi Taluk in herds, they say.Dhruv Patil, a wildlife activist, has approached the Forest Department to protect them.”These blackbucks have been freely moving around in areas with highways. These beautiful animals may fall victims to poaching,” he said.He said he was assured by forest officials of creating a community reserve in that area by procuring land from the village panchayat and private parties as there is no forest in Vijayapora.”The exact count of blackbucks is not available. Their census has not been conducted. Efforts are being made to create the community reserve at the earliest,” a forest officer told NDTV, requesting not to be named.It is believed that the blackbucks come from a group who were kept on the premises of an old temple a few years ago.Around six years ago, the temple authorities decided to release them as it is illegal to keep the animals. Over the years, their number has crossed 300, activists say.The Forest Department has been monitoring their movement. People so far have not harmed them as these blackbucks are considered to be the deity of Lord Sidheshwara. Most of them live deep inside villages.The forest department cannot transport them to a reserve or sanctuaries as they are highly sensitive animals and may die during relocation.Therefore, efforts are being made to create a community reserve at the earliest.Indian antelopes are protected under the same rights as tigers and elephants under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

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