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Hangul deer prepares to fight Kashmir winter

Kashmiri ‘Hangul’ in the snow covered mountains of Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Srinagar.— Photo: Nissar Ahmed

Kashmiri ‘Hangul’ in the snow covered mountains of Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Srinagar.— Photo: Nissar Ahmed  

The endangered ‘Hangul,’ a rare species of red deer, is preparing to fight the bone chilling winter in the snow-laden Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary located on the outskirts of Srinagar. Forest rangers said they have made special food arrangements to keep the antlered stag in good health.

Wildlife guards were seen placing salt blocks on tree branches convenient for the deer to lick in order to receive the nutrients required to fight the chill. The scent of the exposed salt trees attracts deer from long distances.

Forest rangers said that the Kashmir stag needs salt to sustain itself during harsh winter months as temperatures plummet due to incessant snowfall.

“We have provided them food for two days at the moment. We have to do this continuously so that the deer can sustain themselves in the biting cold,” said an official, Khurshid Ahmed.

Kashmir is also home to rare birds like the black partridge leopards, musk red deer.

Winter months are harsh due to rough weather conditions with least vegetation in the region, which results in starving for wild animals, including Hangul.

“Eating food, especially during winters, is very important for deer as it keeps them warm in the cold. In the coming days, excessive snowfall will make it tough for animals to find food, so we provide them timely food. We would also provide them vegetables,” said forest official Gulam Ahmed Bhat. — ANI

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