HYDERABAD: University of Hyderabad officials have finally acted to save the deer on the campus from dogs which pose danger to the life of wild animals. A request has been sent to the commissioner and deputy commissioner of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for sending a dog squad for sterilising the dogs prowling on the university campus.
The incidents of deer dying after being chased or bitten by dogs on the campus have peaked in the past a few months. On Tuesday, a 3-year-old deer died of shock after it had been bitten by dogs. In January, two more deer were killed in similar incidents, and another was hunted down. The spate of incidents alarmed state forest department officials who wrote to TV Rao, chief security officer of UoH, for measures to be taken to save around 100 deer on the campus. One of the suggestions was to seek help from GHMC’s dog squad.
Rao said that he sent the letter to GHMC authorities on Friday. “I sent a letter to the commissioner and deputy commissioner of GHMC requesting that a dog squad be sent to the university,” he said.
To bring the incidence of deer deaths at the university to an end once and for all, the university authorities had earlier mulled the idea of requesting the forest Department to shift all deer from the university.
However, forest department officials have rejected the idea outright, saying more than 60 per cent of the deer would die if they were tranquilised for shifting.
The officials said that to shift a wild animal either it had to be tranquilised or captured. When forest officials had adopted the tranquilising method to shift deer from a golf club in the city in the past, four of the seven deer died.
“More than 60 per cent of them will die if we use tranquilisers. Also, to shoot a tranquiliser, one needs some time. And deer don’t give us enough time to aim at them,” said an official of the forest department.
The official also brushed aside the option of capture, saying it was almost impossible to capture all the deer on UoH which is spread over 1,700 acres. And it is tough to lure wild animals by placing feed in traps.
Another official also said there were zero chances of shifting wild animals. They said that UoH authorities had to take measures to protect the deer such as closing the gaps in the perimeter wall of the campus, restricting the entry of dogs and poachers from outside, sterilising the dogs on the campus and patrolling along the wall at night.
OU DEER SHIFTED
Forest officials said deer can be shifted after capturing them provided they are artificially fed and enclosed in a small area. In one such instance, more than 300 deer had been shifted from the Osmania University campus to the Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve in 2000.
According to them, OU had a deer park spread over 60 acres of land. The park had initially 11 deer whose number crossed 300 in two decades.
However, as their number increased, feeding them, maintaining the enclosure and securing them became a tough task for the university. OU authorities then sought the help of forest department to shift the deer.
Osmania University registrar E.Suresh Kumar said the university was facing financial crunch at that time and even buying fodder for the deer became difficult for the institute. It took around two years for forest department officials to shift all the deer from the Osmania University campus to the Srisailam Tiger Reserve.
The officials captured the wild animal by placing feed in traps. “At first, they would sniff the feed in traps and run away. Later, it took five to six days for the animals to walk into the trap and eat the feed. We closed the traps when 10 or more deer walked into it. For another set of the wild animals to walk into the trap, it took more than 10 days,” recalled an official.
Pleas from More Organisations
State forest department officials have said that they received requests from Survey of India and two other organisations in the city to shift deer from their respective campuses. The population of the wild animal there multiplied, they said.