Amidst the concrete jungle in Peelamedu, in a small lung space an adult spotted deer has found sanctuary.
The deer has been there for over two months now, says Shankar Rai, a labourer who has spotted it more than once while loading and unloading rice bags for the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, which has rented a warehouse from the ‘Chinthamani’, a State Government-run co-operative organisation.
The best time to spot the spotted deer is in the mornings before 9 and in the evenings after 4.30, says the worker who migrated from there over eight years ago.
The Chinthamani owns the 10-acre plot that abuts the Peelamedu Railway Junction in the north.
The plot has warehouses which it has rented it out to the Civil Supplies Corporation, Co-optex, which stocks saris and dhotis for free distribution during Pongal, and the Revenue Department, which has used it for keeping mixie, fan and grinder.
Though the deer had been there for quite sometime, the information that it was there reached the public only on Friday after a few women, who had just begun working at the Co-optex warehouse, spread the word around after spotting the deer, said T. Manoharan, a resident.
On Saturday morning when the news reached his ears, Mr. Manoharan informed the Corporation Zoo Director K. Asokan, who passed on the information to wildlife enthusiasts and also the Forest Department officials. As public began gathering at the spot, the Coimbatore Forest Range office immediately deputed its personnel to study the area and see how best the deer could be rescued, if it was necessary.
There were around 10 personnel who were at the spot to ensure the animal’s safety, said a source.
Notwithstanding the deployment of the Forest personnel, the warehouse on any given day is protected round the clock by police personnel from the Coimbatore City Armed Reserve.
Three constables took turns on eight-hour duties to guard the premises, said a constable.
Wildlife enthusiast N.I. Jalaludeen of Nature Conservation Society, said that his men confirmed the presence of the animal first with the deer pellets and later sighting the animal.
He has asked the Forest Department officials to first minimise the presence of humans in the compound and then go in for securing the animal by tranquilisation. Until its capture, there was do danger of the animal being poached as the Forest Department had increased security.