A hind (female red deer) in an advanced stage of pregnancy was rescued by a resident of Sanjenbam and handed over to the Zoological Garden here on Sunday. It was chased by some youths.

Another stag running along with the hind is feared to have been killed and eaten by the youths.

Police said that in the absence of a complaint from anyone, the youths who slaughtered the animal have not been booked.

There was no veterinarian present at the zoo when the hind was handed over.

It is also alleged that the officials present did not attend to the animal properly.

Many instances of poaching of deer and other wild animals, driven out of their natural habitat due to wild fires and hunters, have been reported here.

Animal lovers are trying to educate the youth on the need to protect endangered animals in Manipur, which is home to the brow antlered deer listed in the red book.

During a recent visit to Maiba Khul, about 10 km from here, this correspondent saw several stag horns littering the fields in the village. On inquiry, the villagers said the Nongmaiching range was a deer habitat, but some tribal farmers started a fire for clearing the slopes for cultivation and hunting.

The terrified deer rushed towards the village, where dogs and urchins chased and killed them.