A “hyperactive and terrified” nilgai that was spotted running frenzied near the Parliament House in the national capital was rescued in a four-hour-long operation on Thursday.
The Asiatic antelope, identified as an adult female, was trapped using rescue nets and was found to be in good health after undergoing checkups in a special animal ambulance of the wildlife conservation organisation Wildlife SOS.
“It seems that this nilgai might have come from the central Ridge area of Delhi, located between Sadar Bazaar and Dhaula Kuan,” Suvidha Bhatnagar, Wildlife SOS spokesperson, said.
The Ridge, spread over 864 hectares, is home to many Nilgais (Blue Bull). “We avoided using tranquilisers, because in many cases it goes wrong with the hoofed animals. Sometimes they don’t recover properly after being tranquilised,” said a rescuer.
“It would be difficult to spot its herd. We’ll release it at the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary,” said Bhatnagar.
The animal was first spotted at 9.30am near the fountain at Vijay Chowk, where it collided with a police control room vehicle and came close to hitting another car.
A team of 10 rescuers from Wildlife SOS, members from Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi Forest Department and Delhi Police caught the Nilgai.
“It was very scared and that’s why it ran around,” VB Dasan, wildlife inspector from the Delhi Forest Department, said.
Dasan said the population of Nilgais had grown in the area. The nilgais live in fringe forests but due to wide deforestation for farming across many states, especially Uttar Pradesh, they are coming into increasing conflict with humans.