New Delhi, (IANS) A “hyperactive and terrified” Nilgai that caught everyone’s attention while running frenzied near Parliament House — one of the most secured zones of Delhi — was successfully rescued without using tranquilisers in a four-hour long operation on Thursday.
The Asiatic antelope, identified as an adult female, was trapped using rescue nets and was found to be in good health after undergoing checkups in a special animal ambulance of the wildlife conservation organisation Wildlife SOS.
“It seems that this Nilgai might have come from the central Ridge area of Delhi, located between Sadar Bazaar and Dhaula Kuan,” Suvidha Bhatnagar, Wildlife SOS spokesperson, told IANS.
The Ridge, spread over 864 hectares, is home to many Nilgais (Blue Bull).
“We avoided using tranquilisers, because in many cases it goes wrong with the hoofed animals. Sometimes they don’t recover properly after being tranquilised,” said a rescuer.
The Nilgai was separated from its herd, which could be another reason for it being scared, making it hard for the rescue team of Wildlife SOS to do their job.
“It would be difficult to spot its herd. We’ll release it at the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary,” said Bhatnagar.
The animal was first spotted at around 9.30 a.m. near the fountain at Vijay Chowk, where while running around it hit a police control room vehicle – damaging the vehicle and itself, and almost hit a car.
“It was very scared and that’s why it ran around. It might have injured or got more scared due to hitting the police car,” V.B. Dasan, wildlife inspector from the Delhi Forest Department, told IANS.
A team of 10 rescuers from Wildlife SOS, members from Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi Forest Department and Delhi Police caught the Nilgai.
He added that the population of Nilgais had also grown, even as they are vulnerable, being killed by farmers. The Nilgais live in the fringe forests. However, due to wide deforestation for farming across many states, especially Uttar Pradesh, they are coming into increasing conflict with humans.
According to the rescuers, due to the presence of a crowd and considering the safety of the animal the operation had to be prolonged.