Six spotted deer died after they consumed water from a pond, which was suspected to have been poisoned by poachers, in a forest region of Chhattisgarh's Dhamtari district, officials said today.
The incident came to light yesterday and three people have been arrested in this connection, the forest officials said.
"The incident took place at Salhebhat village in Keregaon forest range of the district," a senior forest official told PTI.
The matter came to light when some locals saw the spotted deer lying dead near Kukri Muda pond of the village, located around 130 kms away from the state capital Raipur. They subsequently informed forest officials, he said.
"Out of the six deer, five were females and one male," the official added.
Soon after getting the information, forest officials, including Ranger A R Khan, rushed to the spot, he said.
"Preliminary investigations have revealed that some poisonous substance was mixed in the water body with the motive of poaching. The animalsmust have consumed that water, leading to their death," the official said.
"Three people have been arrested following the interrogation in this connection in the area," the official said adding that further probe was underway.
Viscera sample of the dead animals as well as the water sample have been sent to a lab for testing, which will throw more light in the case, he added.