Inside one of the country’s most prestigious institutions of technical education – death is not a very uncommon occurrence. The blackbuck population inside the forests of IIT-Madras has come down to almost 12 and the population of spotted deer hovers around 150.
“The spanking new Himalaya mess has come up on Black buck habitation. There was no real need for that. They could’ve just had smaller messes around the different blocks”, says one concerned insider at IIT. Another lady says, “They came up with this crazy idea of making laws with Korean grass. That’s not what deer eat! Also, there is so much construction debris lying around that the animals are getting injured and dying.”
Feral dogs are another menace inside IIT and they have killed quite a few spotted deer. But the wildlife department officials seem unconcerned about this and are cooking up , what to me sound like excuses. Ashish Shrivastava, one of the wildlife officers says, “If we try to remove the feral dogs some people protest saying the dogs are their pets and we should not remove them.” Pursue the point further by suggesting that they are afterall the wildlife department and can’t be held hostage to peoples pet fancies, he has no answers.
Removing these animals to the neighboring Guindy National Park is not a solution because black bucks have such weak hearts and are so timid that they cannot survive such an upheaval.
(I have since updated this blog with a more informed opinion.)