Endangered species Serow carcass found

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Gangtok, Jun 9 (UNI) A Serow, an endangered species was found dead near the under-construction dam site of the 1200 MW Teesta Urja project in north Sikkim.

Forest officials said here today that the carcass was found in a corridor outside Khangchendzonga National Park at Chungthang on June 4 and the officials took possession of it after being informed by the local people.

''Subsequent postmortem has failed to pinpoint the cause of the death,'' officials said.

The postmortem report mentioned that the animal had died from respiratory problems and a cardboard piece was found inside the intestines of the animal, a forest official said.

However, the officials were clueless as to what caused the respiratory problem and the presence of the cardboard in the body.

''It might have been done by poachers or someone might have poisoned the animal. The wildlife authorities are probing the reasons,'' the official informed.

The presence of the cardboard pointed to two possibilities - deliberate poisoning or careless disposal of food items in the cardboard.

No one had been so far arrested but the suspicion net also included the project labourers, who have a sizeable presence in the area.

Meanwhile, the range officer was at the spot carrying out the investigations and a case will be registered, the wildlife department said.

The Serow is a small goat-like or antelope-like mammal of the genus Capricornis. The animal, which falls under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, has been granted special protection status owing to its dwindling population.

UNI BG DPM RN ARB RN1743

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