Agra, Oct.3 : Officials of the Agra District administration and Forest Department's Wildlife wing have discovered more than a score of carcass, skeletons and remains of blackbucks on Wednesday (October 1).
These were found buried inside the Deer Park in the vicinity of the tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar at Sikandara, on the outskirts of Agra city.
While investigations are on to ascertain if any foul play caused the death of these animals, the caretakers of the Deer Park remained tightlipped.
The caretakers of the deer park tried to mislead the administration for a long time, but finally, they gave in and admitted that some of their workers may have been involved in the death of the antlers. It has been assured that the entire matter would be investigated and culprits would be zeroed in.
"I've come to know about it today only. This is a matter of concern but there is no ill intention whatsoever, behind it. I am investigating if the people from our department are involved in it. It's not clear when the bodies were buried there because the carcass has rotted completely. I'll work under the guidance of the Forest Department. I'll contact the DFO (Divisional Forest Officer) and see what action has to be taken," said R. P. Sinha, Deputy Superintendent of the Deer Park in Agra.
Earlier, the District Magistrate (DM) learnt about the death of a number of blackbucks by an anonymous call.
What disappointed the District administration and animal lovers was that the senior officials of the Forest Department showed less number of dead blackbucks, which was in contrast to the actually unearthed.
Based on the information, the District Magistrate ordered digging of suspected and probable spots in the Deer Park. When the deployed team started digging, the carcass and skeletons of 22 blackbucks were exhumed.
"As against the number of the dead black bucks that has been shown, some difference has been noticed. It is suspected that the dead body of the blackbucks has been buried at some places here instead of burning them. On this basis, the suspected places are being dug. Till now we have dug five such places of which in two places the carcass of blackbucks has been found," said Manoj Kumar, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Sadar in Agra.
The mysterious death of blackbucks has left the concerned authorities of the Conservator of Forests, Uttar Pradesh, speechless. They have sought assistance of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly to find out the exact cause of the death of these blackbucks.
Blackbucks are found mainly in India and also in parts of Pakistan and Nepal. This animal was declared as a protected animal after it was reported to be extinct in many regions of its regular habitat.
In Uttar Pradesh, blackbucks are mainly found in the western region and it is believed that these number around 5,000.