Amidst unabated poaching of chinkaras and black bucks, attacks by stray dogs and accidents caused by barbed wire fences were adding to the rising deaths of the endangered antelopes in Rajasthan's Jodhpur and Barmer districts, activists said today.
The deaths caused by the two factors were surging in the antelope populated areas with two to three animals dying everyday, said Rampal Bhawad, President of the Bishnoi Tiger Force, a wildlife vigilante group based in Jodhpur.
Earlier, the group had urged the state government to help them catch the stray dogs and also provide land in the villages where the mongrels can be kept after being sterilised by their volunteers.
"We have been planning to push this demand by launching a movement very soon,, Bhawad said.
Corroborating his views, veterinarian Sharavan Singh Rathore said the existence of chinkaras and black bucks in the region was under threat but the surprisingly the authorities were not dealing with the issue seriously.
Rathore said when the animals go to the watering holes, the stray dogs attack and kill them. Also, in the rainy season, the soil turns marshy and the animals get stuck in it becoming easy prey, he added.
The wildlife lovers and environmentalists demanded sterilisation of the stray dogs to curb their swelling population and effective rescue measures to save the antelopes. They threatened to launch a movement if their demands were not met.
The Akhil Bhartiya Jeev Raksha Bishnoi Sabha also called upon its activists in the most affected areas to begin a campaign to catch the dogs and drop them at a distant but safe location.
They run very fast and are unable to spot the wire fencing. They get entangled and die in most of the cases either by injury, shock or are caught by the dogs, said Rathore.
However, a forest official rued that due to the limited resources, the support of locals was needed to protect the animals.
"They (locals) keep the dogs to protect their farms in the villages... The dogs hunt meek animals like chinkaras and black bucks, he said.
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