Nearly 40 deer died of poisoning when they consumed fodder contaminated with pesticide at Gummadam village in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana on Saturday.
According to forest officials, some farmers mixed pesticide in rat feed, made them into small balls and placed them all along their maize fields on Friday night, apparently to kill rodents which were destroying their crop. A large number of deer from the nearby forest area came to fields to feed on the grass around the fields and inadvertently consumed the feed balls.
In the morning, the farmers noticed bodies of several deer; a few of them were still writhing in pain. They alerted the police and forest officials, who shifted the bodies to the veterinary hospital for post-mortem.
Mahbubnagar forest range officer V Mahender said the forest department has registered a case and ordered a probe into the deaths. “We have to find out what kind of pesticide the deer consumed and whether it was a deliberate act,” he added.