Ten Black Bucks (Antilope Cervicapra) — included in the schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 — died of contaminated water in the National Zoological Park (NZP).
While four died on Saturday, six died on Sunday, said A.K. Agnihotri, director of NZP — popularly known as Delhi Zoo.
“The channel 15 from where the water drains out into the Yamuna was blocked and the incessant rains led to a rise in Yamuna, causing a lot of water to be pushed back. Then there is this problem with a leaking sewage line, which contaminated the water collected in the enclosure,” Agnihotri said.
The Delhi Zoo had a total of 145 black bucks as on March 2010. There are two enclosures — the bigger one approximately 5,000 sq mt and the smaller one around 2,500 sq mt — which house black and white bucks.
While the bigger one had lesser problems due to a huge moat around its edge, the smaller enclosure had serious problems as it is situated next to the Bird Aviary.
“The post mortem report (of the black bucks) has shown there was infection in the intestines of the animals," the zoo official said, adding, "As a precaution, we are spraying lime and also carrying out regular health check ups of other animals.”
However, the zoo administration has no idea whatsoever about who is supposed to maintain the sewarage pipes, which caused the problem.
Agnihotri said, “Irrespective of who is responsible for the sewage leak, the fact remains that we are loosing animals here.”
“In future, we might think of relocating the black bucks to some other place inside the zoo,” he said.
Earlier, two weeks ago, a male giraffe had died after hitting a tree. The long-necked animal bled after the injury and died after blood entered its lungs, the official said.