A few weeks ago the fawn was separated from its mother

Athipadigai, a small and sleepy tribal hamlet at Kollikarai about 12 km. from Kotagiri has of late been bubbling with excitement.

The reason: it has a special guest in the form of a barking deer and residents are falling over one other to attend to its needs.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, A. Bhoopathy, Founder-member of the Kotagiri Wildlife Association (KWA) said that a few weeks ago the fawn (Muntacus muntjac) had been separated from its mother while being chased by some other wild animal inside a nearby forest and strayed into the hamlet with about 30 houses.

Following efforts to chase the fawn back into its habitat going in vain, the villagers decided to adopt it. Consequently it has become part of the village. It comfortably coexists with domestic animals like cows and dogs and the villagers are feeding it with milk and green fodder.

However, when darkness falls, the fawn moves into a patch of forest located a short distance away from the hamlet.

At dawn it returns.

Mr. Bhoopathy added that the tribal people have named it ‘Kutty’ and the fawn responds to it.

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