Marsh developed by industrial effluent in villages on the border of Jodhpur and Barmer districts of Rajasthan has turned into a trap for antelopes claiming lives of about a dozen endangered chinkaras in the past one week.
The antelopes jump into the marshy outlet created by the chemical effluent in order to escape the attack bid by dogs and got stuck in the marsh.
Most of the carcasses had turned dark due to the effect of the chemicals.
“We took out 10 carcasses and rescued 4 antelopes on Saturday, of which 2 were sent to the rescue center for medical aid”, said ACF Mahak Ram Bishnoi.
He said the industrial outlet measuring 4-5 feet deep and 10-12 feet wide, passing through Dhava, Doli, Bhandu and Lunawas villages, has turned marshy after the water in it dried up due to scorching heat.
“When dogs follow antelopes, which are abundant in this region, they get trapped in this marsh and get stuck in it. It then becomes impossible for them to come out and gradually they sink in the marsh”, Mr. Bishnoi said.
An activist of the Bishnoi Tiger Vanya evam Paryavaran Sanstha, who also reached the spot on Saturday, suspected more carcasses were sunk in the marsh and demanded immediate steps to prevent such incidents.
“If nothing is done by the forest department to ensure the safety of the antelopes, we will launch a movement”, said Ram Niwas Budhnagar, General Secretary of the organization.
Meanwhile, the forest department has deployed about half a dozen guards to keep an eye on the marsh and make sure that no antelope is stuck in the marsh.
“We will start a drive to catch stray dogs in the area also from Monday”, said Mr. Bishnoi adding that support of villagers will be very important in this drive.