There was heavy rainfall in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, including Bhavnagar and Botad, in the surroundings of Blackbuck National Park. Due to flood-like situation and waterlogging in the Salt Pan and other areas, 28 blackbucks drowned.
Assistant Conservator of Forest MH Trivedi said the forest dept is taking precautions to protect the blackbucks. It constructed platforms for blackbucks to climb and save lives from floodwaters. Some drowned and some died because of stray dogs killed them. In just seven days, 28 blackbuck have died, 9 Paliyad and Madhiya area, 10 in Kardej areas.
Sources said other 9 died outside the park in the salt pan and other villages. Forest team is carrying out the search and rescue.
Blackbucks have been included on Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is an endangered species. Notably, it is not the first time a number of animal has become victims of flood or stray dogs. In 2007, 195 had died of drowning, and 1982, 311 had died for the same reasons. The officer said there was heavy rainfall in catchment areas of Kalubhar and Ghelo rivers. In Northwest Ahmedabad or North Surendranagar district, water creates floods in the coastal belt as it is a lowlying area, compounding problems for the herbivores.